How to Read More Books

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”                           Abraham Lincoln

Have to agree with Abe on that. Books are the source of ideas. Ideas that can change us and therefore change the world. Compelling reasons to read more. However…

According to StatisticBrain, 57% of books started are not read to completion.

Why don’t we read more..and to the end? One reason you might not finish the book is because the book stunk. Or perhaps it simply didn’t resonate. But I’ve had enough conversations with clients who have full shelves of non-fiction books to know that it’s not always the quality of the book that stops a reader from finishing it.

It’s the urgency that’s lost once you own the book.  There are few things I love to buy more than books. But it does seem that a book owned is a book that you’ll read “later.”

So if you really want to read more, check books out from the library. Here’s why that works…

  • You only have access to the book for a limited period of time.
  • You can sometimes renew a book if it hasn’t been requested by another patron, but renewing more than once is a good sign you’re not going to read it.
  • You’re forced to take notes since you can’t mark up the book. Taking your own notes helps you remember concepts.
  • When you write our own notes rather than highlight passages, you choose more critically, noting only the concepts you truly want to take away
  • If the book is simply fantastic and something to which you will refer, buy it.  Your personal library will include only the cream of the crop.

(I would have included that the late fee is a small but effective motivator, but revenue figures indicate otherwise. In 2011 the average monthly revenue from fines at the St. Louis County Library was $75,000.  Astounding no?)

Read more. Just read more.

Useful? There's more where that came from.

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