How To Read A Book

how to read a book

How should you read to get the most out of the experience?

The first post in a blog about reading should start with the basics so we’re all on the same page (pun intended). How should you read a book so that you get the most out of it? What tips are available so you can better absorb the material while also being discerning about what you’re reading?

There are lots and lots of articles on the internet for those who are interested in taking a deep dive into this topic. I’ll list a handful of those links at the bottom of this post. I won’t attempt to reinvent the wheel here. I only want to highlight a few ideas that should help you enjoy, appreciate, and get more value out of your reading time. These are the most common tips you’ll find on the internet.

Tips for reading

Let’s cut to the chase and get to the main tips, shall we?

  1. Choose books with topics that you enjoy. Yeah, make reading fun. Have some variety in your reading list. This is about enjoyment, not work. Sure, there are some books that you should probably read because they are important, even if they aren’t fun or easy to read. But overall, you should enjoy the process, or you’ll get burned out.
  2. Read multiple books at the same time. I’ve done this for a long time. It works great for me but doesn’t for others. I like to have one science book, one novel, and one random option (history, biography, poetry) available at all times so that I have something that will fit whatever mood I’m in.
  3. Don’t be afraid to quit reading a book! This is really, really difficult for some folks. Maybe you’re the type to watch a movie (that you don’t enjoy) all the way to the end so that you can say that you finished it. I’m not that guy. If it’s not working for you, just stop. You can always try again later. Maybe in a different season of life, it will suddenly be much more interesting. Time is precious and there are lots of other books out there.
  4. Challenge yourself. That means finding books outside of your comfort zone either in the genre, topic, or reading level. Yes, you’ll come across some duds. But you’ll also be pleasantly surprised with some books, not to mention become a more well-rounded reader.
  5. Take notes. Taking notes and talking about the book with other people is a great way to make sure you retain the information. Disclosure: this is a big reason I started this site – so I can remember what I’ve learned and benefit even more from it!
  6. Prioritize your time better. Remove distractions, turn off the phone, turn off the notifications, get the setting right, use your mindless social media time for reading instead, always have a book on hand so you can read… you get the idea. Start some new habits and break some bad ones. Trust me, you waste a lot more time than you realize. Trade that wasted time for something you enjoy more and that is better for you.

Did I miss anything? Do you have something to add? Feel free to drop a comment below with what works for you or if you have a link that I should add for the “further reading” section.

Links for further reading