What Should You Do When You’re Done Reading A Book?01. September 2017
To read a book is one of life’s greatest gifts. There’s an abundance of books you can choose to read. If you want to learn about a historical event, there will be a book on it. If you wish to read on entrepreneurship, there will be plenty of books for you.
While reading itself is valuable, it should call into question what you should do when you’re done reading a book.
I’d consider myself a voracious reader, reading around sixty books each year. I’m not a speed reader and indulge in the books I’m reading.
Early on in my entrepreneurial career, I was told I had to read books. I listened. There was only one problem, no one tells you what to do when you’re done reading a book. It’s not reading the book that’s a challenge, it’s what to do thereafter.
A book, like anything else, has no meaning unless you give it one. You can read every book and still be unsuccessful. How do I know? I was that person. I’d finish one book and within thirty minutes, I’d be onto the next book. It was a vicious cycle I found myself in.
I’d love to read the books, but wasn’t getting any further than the person who didn’t read.
It should be noted, the average CEO reads sixty books per year, while the average employee reads one book.
Over the past year, I developed a new reading habit. One that doesn’t entail reading a book and starting a new one within the hour. This is the process I’ve used for myself to take what I’ve read and apply it to my life.
According to the National Training Laboratories, the retention rate for reading a book is 10%. That means you need to read the book ten times before you’d grasp all the information. There’s not enough time to read every book ten times. There had to be a different way.
“The book you don’t read won’t help,” – Jim Rohn
Benefits Of Reading
Reading is one of the many advantages you can gain over others in this world. The internet is abundant with online resources. The library offers the chance to read for free. Take advantage of these opportunities.
You might’ve grown up in a household with no books This doesn’t mean you can’t start a library of your own. For those who possess a collection of their own, or are just starting to read, there’s a mirage of benefits that reading a book will serve you.
For me, I was never a reader. I barely read my entire life. There was something different when I read the books I wanted. It was through those pages that have made me the person I am today.
Once you learn to read, you will be free forever. Free from the minds of those who try to bring you down. Free from others opinions.
Gain The Knowledge To Think And Act For Yourself
The person you are today isn’t the person you will be a year from now. If you are, you aren’t reading enough.
Books take you to a different world. A world where you can find yourself tangled in self-improvement.
You can pick up a book by Tony Robbins or Dale Carnegie and improve your life within a matter of days.
Through reading the Miracle Morning, I developed a morning routine. The way you start off your morning will impact the rest of your day. Yet, no one ever tells you, you should have a morning routine. It’s through the books you read you realize what the high-achievers consistently do.
Learn From The Past
You will gain experience from others. If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it. Why go through the failures yourself when you can learn from someone else at a fraction of the cost?
If the book is good, the author will take you step by step where he failed and how he overcame that failure. The successful we look up to, started off as you and I. Through the books they’ve written, we learn to overcome the circumstances we’re in as they were once us.
If you lack the money to start a business. There will be a book written on how to start a business with little. The resources are out there if you seek it.
A book takes you to another place in the world. You can learn about the hero’s who’ve been dead for thousands of years.
I’ve been reading about the Roman world and how the Empire operated. This wouldn’t have been possible a hundred years ago. The book can take you back to the BC’s seeing how real men lived their life, unlike the sensitive generation we have today.
Emphasis On Today
What you do today will determine if you’ll be successful. We are the makeup of the habits we instill into our lives. You can develop the habit to eat healthy or terrible. You have the habit to check your phone or stay disciplined. Reading is one of those habits you need to inject into your life.
A lifelong habit of reading will serve its purpose. It can be the first good habit you create in your life. When you’re reading, you can take the habits of the author and once more, put them into your life.
Traditional vs. Self-Education
It’s no secret that the cost of traditional education is expensive. The average course will cost $1,000. You can purchase 100 books for the cost. The return on your investment would be significant,
This isn’t to deter you from a life of education, but to continue to educate yourself once you graduate. Learning is a process you need to take with you throughout your entire life.
While there are numerous benefits to reading a book, none of them will come if you don’t know what to do when you’re done reading. There will be books where you should re-read them. But for the majority of books, you aren’t don’t have the time that’s needed for them.
Passive vs. Active Reading
Are you a passive or an active reader? A passive reader is one who reads for pleasure while garnering no benefit from the book. An active reader is someone who’s highlighting the pages and taking notes along the way. You can even have a separate paper beside you while you read to take notes.
The key to active reading is the notes that you take today, will be used tomorrow. If you’re a passive reader reading a self-development book, the information will be lost when you’re done reading.
Question The Author
Write questions about the book you are reading. Disagree with the author. Ponder thoughts about what the author wrote. Take the time to read a book and it will pay dividends.
When you’re reading a book, you will know within the first fifty pages if that book is right for you. If you feel the book isn’t for you, put away the book for another time. No book is good or terrible as we each have an opinion. Mark the book as a ‘to-read’ a few months from now. Your mindset might’ve changed by then and you can gain a benefit from the book.
You’ve just finished reading a book. You took notes and highlighted throughout. What next?
Take everything you have from the book and type it on a document. I recommend using Google Drive to keep and save your documents. You can create a folder and put in each book’s summary.
Spend More Time Analyzing Than Reading
This may take you a few hours, but it will be worth it. If it takes you ten hours to read a book, you should spend twenty hours of work implementing the book into your life.
From the document with your notes, take five to ten items the author mentioned that peeked your interest and conjure in thought on why you liked them.
The next step will be to take those five to ten items and implement them into your life. These are actionable items you can use right away. If you read a book on finance, you take what the author was saying about paying down debt and implement it into your life.
The author is there to help you, but you also need to help yourself. When you read without taking action, you will not get very far.
After you’ve typed up your notes and have your list of actionable items, put the book away. This is contrary to what you think. If you go through your book a day after reading, it will not be useful.
“No two persons ever read the same book,” – Edmund Wilson
Come back to your book a week after reading it. Is there anything you picked up in your notes you don’t remember reading from last time? You will look at the book and your notes with fresh eyes. There was an action you wished to take but had forgotten.
The concepts you found useful in the book, you don’t want to forget. This can happen a month after reading a book. This is why I recommend after a month of finishing your book, you should go back through your notes once more. Again, is there anything you missed?
Gone, But Never Forgotten
Set up a schedule for yourself to review the book you read every six months. You may wish to read the book over again. It’s distilling the powerful moments of the book to become ingrained inside yourself. To remember the concepts, not for a month, but for decades.
Take your time when reading your book. Re-read sentences or paragraphs if you wish. This is your book, not someone else’s. We each possess our own unique reading style. You may read fast or slow, don’t become discouraged. Be grateful you have the opportunity to read the book in your hands.
If you prefer not to read a book, you may listen to the book instead. For that, use audible. Through audible, you can listen to books wherever you are. I use audible for when I’m in the gym, driving, walking, showering, anywhere where I can’t sit with a physical book and read.
To gain knowledge faster, I read two books at once. I read a book for an hour in the morning and then a different book for half an hour before bed. Set up your own schedule for reading as you please.
How do you read your books? Tell us in the comments below!
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