Image this: your wealth is in excess of $100 billion, but instead of enjoying your money and travelling from country to country, hopping from island to island, you instead spend most of your time reading books. 500 pages minimum to be exact! If you haven’t guessed it yet, we are talking about Warren Buffet, who believes that knowledge, just like money, compounds everyday. If you care about building your wealth and being financially free, then reading it vital. Reading helps you connect the dots, generate new ideas and unlock potential that you didn’t think was possible. And if you are already into reading, there are always better and more efficient ways to get the most of out books, so that what you read will be retained and useful for a long time in the future. We have all read books and may not remember much from them. We need to change that and it starts by following these tips below:
Use a Kindle or any other E-Reader for easier referencing and note taking
Using an E-Reader like Amazon Kindle makes your reading much easier, and in a number of ways. First off, it makes it much easier to search, something that is done manually and takes a long time on a paper book. E-Readers also help you make highlights and your own notes to important passages in the book, and easily refer back to them later. E-Readers have other benefits and we have already wrote about that in a previous article.
Take at least one idea from a book and set an intention to apply it
While reading a book, you will come across different ideas, advise, tips, hacks and techniques. As it may be hard to remember or apply all of them, set an intention to focus on one good idea and apply it to your life. For example, after reading the book “Own the Day, Own Your Life” by Aubrey Marcus, I took 3 ideas and started applying them for a better start to my morning: drink water, get natural sunlight and do some movement. I have been applying those daily and they help a lot, considering that I work from home most of the time. Alternatively, before starting a book, determine what you want to learn from the book and what you hope to gain. This will help you stay focused and identify the most relevant information.
Read other people’s reviews and compare notes to spot common themes
One of the things I do when reading a certain book – either before or after I finished reading it – is to read online comments and book reviews to gain insights and common themes from other readers and compared to yours. If you see a common theme repeated by other readers, then take some time to focus on that and expand on it to gain more insights. You can also use online resources to seek clarity on concepts in the book you are not sure about to see how they define or approach it. And last but not least, you can get entire book summaries and key points by searching through Google images or Pinterest.
One done, Reflect and summarize
After finishing the book, take some time to reflect on what you’ve learned. Think about how the information can be applied to your situation and how it can help you reach your goals. For example, if this was a finance book, summarize the key points in your own words and what you can do to apply it to your situation. If the book is stressing the importance of regular payroll contributions to a saving or investment program and this is something you don’t already do, then start taking the first step to make that reality. One simple decision taken based on what you read, could provide huge returns and benefits in the future.
We can’t claim that all successful people made it to the top by reading books. But you can also bet that most of them did. There is a famous quote that says “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers” . There is also another variation on this from one of my favorite podcasts ‘Read to Lead Podcast’ by Jeff Brown, that goes “Readers are Leaders and Leaders are Readers” and Mr. Brown has a habit of starting and ending every podcast episode with this memorable and fitting quote. So start getting into the habit of reading, and ensure you get the most out of it by applying the tips above. Before you know it, reading will be making your life better, richer, healthier and certainly wiser.