Guide To Reading Nonfiction Books
After you have read about 150+ nonfiction books,
you start to pick up a trick or two on how to read them.
Now, when I say nonfiction books, I guess I just as easily
could say personal development books
this is what I am really referring to.
Nonfiction books are truly a great way to learn from the success of
others. To read a first-hand account of what someone did, and how they
did it. It lets you take a look in to the thought process of some of
the world's greatest thinkers.
And all it costs is a little bit of
money and a few hours of your time.
In my guide to reading nonfiction books, I'm going to tell you want I
consider to be the most important things you can do to get the absolute most
of these types of books. How you can absorb that most important points
the author is trying to make and how to remember these points for a
Below is the most important tips I can give you after having read so
many books. These tips may not work for you, but I would strongly
suggest that you at least give them a try.
A nonfiction book is only useful if you put it to good use. And the
ideas below should help maximize the value that you get out of every
book you read.
Buy A Journal
One of the first things you absolutely have to
you start reading nonfiction books is a journal. A journal is nothing
more than an empty book to record your thoughts and ideas in. Journals
come in all shapes and sizes, and in all price ranges. The journal I'm
currently using is around 400 pages and was purchased for less than $10
I know when I was ready to buy my first journal, I had more questions
than you could possibly imagine. You likely have some of these same
questions. Questions like...
- Should I buy a journal with lines, or no lines?
- How big/small should it be?
- Should the pages be numbered or not numbered?
Etc. Etc. The answer to all of these questions is, buy whatever you think is best
. If you want a small brown journal then buy a
small brown journal. If you would prefer a big pink journal then buy a
big pink journal! Choose a journal that you love and are proud to own.
What on earth do we do with this empty book that we paid so dearly
Record Key Points
Here's what I do with every personal development book that I read.
First, I always read with my journal and a pen beside me. Then, every
time I read a sentence or paragraph that I feel makes a great point or
gives me an "ah-ha" moment, I write it down in my journal.
If you had a look at my journal, you would see the book title and the
date I started reading it at the top of every page. Then with each
book, you would see about 2-6 pages of handwritten notes about each
I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am that I started doing
By recording these key points in a journal, I can go back later after
several months of finishing a book, and read the most valuable insights
that I found when I read it.
The great personal development books light a fire in you for weeks
after you have read them. Having things written down in your journal is
an easy way to rekindle that flame once it's gone away. I can't tell
you how many times I've went back and reread my notes on books
To Win Friends And Influence People
And Grow Rich
Discipline In 10 Days
, etc. Every time I read these notes,
I'm reminded of the valuable things that those books taught me. It's as
if I read the book all over again.
I mentioned earlier that I bought my first journal for under $10. Since
then, I've filled that journal up with notes on over a hundred books.
The value of that book now is worth far
than $10 to me now!
Do yourself a big favor and buy yourself a journal today.
Don't Be Afraid To Skim
It's a fact, not every word in most nonfiction books is going to be
useful to you. Some things simply don't apply to you. Sometimes you've
read the idea from another book and don't need to hear it again. When
something like this happens, it's usually best to simply skim over
It's classic 80/20. 80% of the value of the book can likely be found in
20% of the pages. Now I'm not telling you to only read 20% of the book.
I'm simply saying that you shouldn't force yourself to read every book
cover to cover.
Of course, there are some non fiction books that you are
going to want
to read cover to cover. The first time you read Think
And Grow Rich
, I can bet you are going to want to soak in
every single word. However, if you later decide to go and read The Law Of Success
(the prequel to
Think And Grow Rich), it's going to have some ideas and stories that
you simply don't need to read again.
The point I'm trying to make is, when you read enough personal
development books, it will get harder and harder to find new ideas. And
with the more you know, the more you should learn to skim in order to
get to the really valuable information.
The purpose of personal development books is to give you suggestions on
how to make changes in your life for the better. So if you read a book
and do nothing differently afterwards except have a warm, fuzzy feeling
inside, then you didn't get enough out of the book!
You have to make a commitment to yourself that you will take action on
the ideas in the book. To experiment with the suggestions that you were
Make a promise to yourself before you read the book that you will
experiment with at least one
thing that the book said. It doesn't have to be a
lifetime commitment. Simply promise yourself that you will try for
21-days a good idea that came from the book.
This world rewards people that take action. People that don't conform
and do what everybody else is doing.
A majority of the people that read a personal development book read it
and never get around to doing what it tells them to do. Almost
everybody thinks about
doing something or even goes as far as planning to do something
differently. But very few people actually get out and physically do
something to try and improve their lives.
All I ask is that you be different. Be a person of action and try some
of the good ideas that you hear. Sure, it may not work out. But you
learned a lot more by trying and it will make you that much wiser with
the next idea that you try.
Reading nonfiction books is a great way to learn from people that have been there and done
something that you would like to accomplish. It's the easiest way to
learn how you can get from where you are in life to where you want to
Learn how reading fiction books is important too
Learn how to write a journal
5 books on money that will save/earn you $1,000+
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