How to Read a Book

The Practice of Leadership has a post on how to read and digest a book. (Ignore the rampant comma splices; the info is solid.)

How I read for leisure is different to how I read to learn. This post is focused on improving the reading we do for personal and professional development, rather than leisure reading.

The author has a specific process which includes:

  • Selection. “Choose the books you read wisely. You want to ensure, as far as possible, that the book you read is worth the investment of your time and energy.”
  • Preparation. Remove distractions, ensure sufficient lighting, and have a favorite reading spot.
  • Read actively. This is important. Take notes. Mark favorite passsages. (The author recommends this system of noting favorite passages.
  • Reflect for insight. Try to determine what this book means to you. Reread certain passages. Go back over your notes and highlights. What is it about the book that makes it meaningful to your life, and how can you integrate its ideas into the way you work?
  • Systemize for implementation. If the book has affected you, incorporate its ideas into your life. Create a system that works for you based upon what you have learned.

This is no substitute for Adler’s classic How to Read a Book, but it is a good introduction to attentive reading.