Getting the Most Value Out of a Book

I am a self-professed, self-help and motivational book junkie. Ever since I was a little boy, I have loved to read and listen to self-help success books. I remember riding around in a car, which was referred to as Automobile University, with my father listening to books by Zig Ziglar.

In the beginning of each year, I set a goal to read a certain number of book. However, I often catch myself reading books just to check them off my list. This becomes a problem when you read a book that has the potential to change your life. I typically read about three to five books in a given year that have a profound of an impact on me. However, if I’m not careful, I’ll allow my tendency to want to read through a book to check it off my list to cause me to not get as much out of it as I could have.


I have found that when a book is truly life-changing, we need to read it more than once. Most of us would never question that we should read the Bible more than once.  In fact, a lot of us make a goal of reading it at least once a year, cover to cover. On top of that we join groups to study it, and we have no problem listening to a pastor read the same scriptures we have heard over and over again on Sunday mornings.  Why?  Because we know that it is the word of God and it is the ultimate instruction book for our lives. Yet, I have yet to meet a Christian Leader that can recite the entire Bible from heart. The more that we read and study it it, the more we will learn and retain. In other words, repetition lead to retention!

The same thing holds true for success books.  My favorite success book of all time is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (Affiliate link).  I have tried to read at least once a year for the past 10 years.  Every time I read it, I get some new insight that I had never gotten before. Reading this book so many times has lead me to implement a specific practice over the past five years: anytime I find a new book or a good podcast that really had a profound impact on me, before I go on to another book, I listen to it or read it a second time. 

Regardless of the impact a book has on me, I always do a short write up to myself and include it in my annual review. It’s amazing see what happens when you take the time create a book report on the books you read. You’ll find your perspective will change and you will learn more.

My advice to you today is anytime you read something good or you hear something good, do it a second time before you move on.  Take copious notes and write a book report.  I promise that you’ll get more out of it than you ever had before.

Todays’ Challenge: If you read a great book, read it twice and write a book report on it. 

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