Why Should You Read Books?
Reading is not about having head knowledge, it is about acquiring the knowledge you need to help you move forward in your life. Books are a way of getting mentorship from some of the greatest minds in history. Surely you would be crazy not take advantage of a resource like that?
Books and more to the point reading is an important skill to cultivate for many reasons. The main one is that reading and taking action on what you have read can help to improve your life.
There is plenty evidence of this by looking at people who have risen from the crowd. You will see from their lives that in most cases books have played an integral part in their development. Tesla, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Jack White and Tim Ferris are all people who read regularly. The most successful CEOs read on average a book a week; 50 books a year.
Alexander The Great who was personally mentored by Aristotle and traveled with a library. In the book “The Everything Store”, Brad Stone account that Jeff Bezos would walk around with a tattered copy of Sam Walton’s book “Made in America”.
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Click The Images To See The Books
All of the greatest achievers and people who have shaped our world learnt under mentors and read regularly. Sometimes you can’t find the exact mentor you need but you can learn from the greats even if some of them are not with us anymore through reading.
Books are a priceless tool and can help you shave time off your learning curve. By the end of this article, we want to try and help the speed at which you read, the quality of books you read and you ability to recall that information.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton.
Become A Smart Reader
Ok so we are now on the same page, pun intended. We agree reading is a good thing but reading can be laborious as there is so much information to get through. Sometimes you read a book and the information has evaporated from your mind the moment you put the book down.
What is the solution to this? You need to become a smart reader by learning how to go through material strategically so that you can tease the gold out of your books. This skill will become an asset to you.
What is the solution to this? You need to become a smart reader. By learning how to go through material strategically you will be able to tease the gold out of your books and this skill will become an asset to you.
Creating A Habit Loop
“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do". Charles Duhigg
The habit process consists of a three-step loop:
Simply understanding how habits work make them much easier to get under our control. By learning to see the cues and rewards, we can change our routines. The habit you need to build is a reading habit and you can do this by creating a reading routine.
Building A Reading Routine
The first thing to do is to decide the amount of time you are going to read. The plan is to schedule three sittings to read in; morning, afternoon and in the evening.
Choose a times that are realistic and then divide it into three. Let’s say you choose to read for 6 minutes a day, you would divide that into three; 2 minutes per sitting.
Morning – 2 minutes of reading.
Afternoon – 2 minutes of reading.
Evening – 2 minutes of reading.
The morning will be your time to read ‘classics’, the afternoon will be ‘how to books’ and evening will be ‘biographies’. You can cater what you read around what is going on in your life to make it a more impactful time.
If you decided on doing 6 minutes a day then you will divide that into three and do three sittings of reading a book for 2 minutes (using a timer).
If you go over that time, that is great but the main thing is to make it a habit. It is better to commit to 6 minutes a day and stick to it than try 15 minutes and self-sabotage yourself from doing it because you don’t feel motivated to read for that long.
Quality will be better than quantity and when it starts to become enjoyable you will start to see you mindsets change and from there, your life will change.
What Should You Read?
Below are the main categories of books that we recommend you spend your time reading. The types of books we are looking at are based on helping you in your health, wealth, love and happiness.
These are books that are at least 50 years old and have stood the test of time. A book that has lasted for a long time probably has some value for you even if you don’t agree with everything it says.
We are not saying you should agree with everything you read but it is worth reading and understanding a wide variety of viewpoints; diverse inputs = diverse outputs.
Here are a few your could try: The Bible, The Works of Aristotle, Plato, Will Durant, Descartes, Lao Tzu, Jean-Paul Satre, Darwin, Freud and Stephen Hawkins. In general, classic books give you big picture philosophy and these books are great to inform and expand your worldview.
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How To Books
These are books that lay it out the A-Z of a topic. Books like The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Simple Rules by Donald Sull and The Subtle Art of Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson.
You can choose ‘how to’ books that fit under each category of health, wealth, love and happiness. ‘How to’ books on health could be Fit for Life by Harvey Diamond, Body For Life by Bill Phillips or The Story of the Human Body by Daniel Lieberman Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan. It could be language learning like Learn Spanish by Garcia Ammons. Books on learning a skill, language or knowledge you can apply are all how to books.
Click The Images To See The Books
Click The Images To See The Books
Biographies help give you perspective on your own journey and inspire you to take more calculated risks to get the rewards you want in health, wealth, love and happiness.
They show you the journey of someone’s life so that you can see the ups, downs and what helped them keep on going.
For example, Sam Walton who built the Walmart empire lost his first business after a few years because he didn’t read the lease correctly.
Despite that initial setback he went on to do pretty well. It is powerful to read about someone’s journey to see what they overcame. It will give you hope, vision and perspective.
How To Choose Books
There are so many titles to choose from so where do you start?
A basic guide would be to think about where you are at in your life and what are you trying to learn. Pick a book around that topic and start reading. Do some research on the author and see who their influences are and find out what books they have written.
The links and connections will naturally unfold from one book to another and your library will expand very quickly!
Your library will evolve with you naturally and you will be on the look for new titles. You may hear an interview with someone you admire talking about books they read. That would be a great time for you to crack open Evernote and write down the title.
We encourage you to start a notebook inside Evernote called “Books To Read”. This way, when you hear about a new book but don’t have time to grab it you can make a quick note of it.
We have made a blog about making notes with Evernote so be sure to click and check that out.
A tip for finding good titles is to consider the person recommending it as what they have achieved will sometimes indicate the quality and relevance of the books.
I heard an interview with Tim Ferriss and he mentioned a few books that were in his top 10. One was the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Laura Reis and Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. Both books are amazing and the person who recommended the books is a very successful so that made me want to check them out.
Audiobooks are a great way of getting your reading while you are on the go, as you can get some reading in while you are washing your car, going for a walk, doing yoga or just kicking back.
A little trick with audiobooks is to turn the speed up so that you can get through the book quicker and the great thing with Audible is that the narrators are very good so if you do turn the speed up x2 then you can still understand what is being read.
So let’s start! Open up Evernote and start a book list. Do some research and start compiling and buying the books you want to start reading.
If you are ready to take the plunge then buy some books right now. The list will be personal to you and based on your needs but it is worth keeping the topics in the areas we have stated; health, wealth, love and happiness.
How To Get Through a Book
Now you know why you should read, what type of books you should read, how to chose them and how to set up a reading routine. The next part will be how to chew up those verbs and nouns in an effective way.
If you are going digital you can highlight with most apps (Kindle, iBooks) and you can use Evernote to make notes if you are going deep. You could make a notebook in Evernote called “Books I am Reading”. Inside that notebook you would make a note for each book you are reading and write any notes you would like to make on the books or copy out quotes for inspiration.
The first thing to do when you get a book is read the contents to see where the book will take you. This is the map of the book and will guide you on what you could learn and where you may want to jump to.
Read the quotes and comments on the book to find out more about who is endorsing the book as well as getting more info on the author. Then read the introduction and the first chapter and the last chapter. That may not be in one sitting depending on how long you are set to read for but it is a guide.
Then go back to the table of contents and choose a chapter that will help you learn something relevant, or that strikes an interest.
You may be thinking that you should read books cover to cover but what we want to get you thinking about is that your books are not one-off rendezvous. You are not looking at reading that book as a one-off event, you are going to keep coming back to different books. You will never read one book and get everything out of it downloaded into your brain in one sitting.
Another great trick is to try to get one takeaway from what you have read; one golden nugget. We are panning for gold in every sitting and we will go back to the same book for more than one sitting.
Please keep this in mind, it is not about the volume of books, it is about the quality of books and repetitive reading of those books to internalise the concepts. Look at this as a process over time rather than one sitting to change everything.
Books are a resource so use them like a study aid. The aim is not to read for the sake of reading, the aim is to read and internalise content so that it can change your life.
Consider the speed at which you read. ‘How to books’, generally have a central theme that everything sits on. This can sometimes get heavily padded with stories and case studies to emphasise that theme so you don’t necessarily have to read every page to get the meat.
Read the classics a bit slower as they are usually attempting to unpack bery deep concepts that may be worth digesting for longer.
Take your time with the biographies because the end game of those books is to give you courage, motivation and inspiration through a story you can relate to. Scheduling your biographies to be read at the end of the day is a great way to wind down. Having something inspiring for your system to digest before sleeping might be a better choice than a classic Wittgenstein.
The speed at which you read all these book types is just a guide of it so please adapt all of it to fit your needs and requirements.
That is the breakdown of how you should read! This is not conclusive is just a guide to get you started. We are all individuals and have different needs and situations so our advice would always be to take what works and discard the rest but experiment and most importantly take action!
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested”. Francis Bacon
The 67 Steps
A lot of the reading techniques in this article are from a program called The 67 Steps. This is a great program based around building a better life for yourself.
All of our team have done this program and it has helped us read more and grow as people in the most important areas of our lives.
The 67 Steps came from the teachings of powerful and famous people like Bill Gates, Charlie Munger, Peter Drucker, Gandhi, and many other influential figures. We highly recommend this program if you are looking to improve your life.
If you would like to read our full review of the program which has pictures and content from the program click here.
To find out how to shave years off your learning curve and have a clear map of how to create the life you want…click the image!
Would You Like an Quicker Way To Read Books?
Reading has changed our lives including our level of productivity. The problem most people have is finding time to read. We recently found an amazing tool that has doubled the number of books read in a month and in turn changed our lives and our business.
It uses all the learning styles (visual, auditory & kinesthetic) to help you learn the concepts from the books at a faster speed.
The biggest feature by far is the fact that you are getting taught by the authors of the books. This is an amazing way of reading, we have called it smart reading.
Click the link to find out more about this cutting-edge learning tool. If you don’t read you are missing out on moving forward quickly.
Read our review of smart reading.
Tools To Help You Become Your Best
Check out our other blogs which have tools to help you grow and content to inspire you.