Reading a book

How to Read Self-Improvement and Self-Help Books

Reading a book

Self-improvement and self-help books are non-fiction books, and therefore, you need to read them not as you read fiction, novels or stories, but differently.

Often, when reading a good fiction book, we get completely absorbed in it, and might find it difficult to put down the book until we finish reading it. Afterwards, we might leave the book and move to another one. It is like watching a good movie. We enjoy watching it, follow the plot, identify with some of the characters and dislike others.

After watching a good movie we might think a little about it, speak about it with friends, and then dismissing it from our mind and moving on with our life.

It is the same with books. If we read a good book, we might think and speak about it, and discuss its plot, and then forget about it. If the book is exceptionally good, we might read it again after some time.

This is different with self-improvement and self-help books. These books teach and guide, and often include exercises. They are textbooks, just like in school, college or the University. We never read textbook like a novel. We read a few pages and practice what we have learned. It is the same with self-improvement and self-help books.

Do you read a mathematic or algebra book like a novel? No, you don’t! You need to read slowly, understand what you read and practice the exercises.

To get the most from books about self-improvement and self-help you need to read them slowly, imbibe what they teach, and then practice the exercises they offer and follow the advice and tips in your everyday life.

This advice refers to all non-fiction books, such as books about losing weight, managing your time, improving your health, bodybuilding or meditation.

I would like to offer a few tips for reading such books.

How to Read Self-Improvement and Self-Help Books

1. Read the book slowly, so you understand the messages it delivers.

2. There is no need to read more than a few pages day. I do not recommend reading such a book fast, from start to end, in the same way as reading a fiction book. Sometimes, each paragraph contains important information, which you need to study, understand and assimilate. The book will benefit you more if you read it slowly.

3. Sometimes, you will need to read the same page or paragraph several times, to understand it better. Often, reading the same paragraph several times brings new insights and understanding that you will not get by reading it once.

4. Try to read between the lines. Sometimes, there is a lot of wisdom in the book, and to discover it and understand it you will need to keep an open mind, think about what you read several times, and allow your intuition to guide you.

5. Focus on the words you are reading, and you will discover new ideas and new insights rising in your mind.

6. Sometimes, you might not understand a certain part of the book. What should you do? You can do one of two things.

a) Stop reading and think about the section in the book, which is not clear or that you do not understand.

b) Continue reading a page or two, and then return to the part you did not understand. It is quite possible that everything would be clear after reading a little further. Often, you might find the explanation in the next paragraphs or pages.

7. While reading the book, think about your life, and about what you need to change and improve, and how to use the guidance and advice in your life.

8. You need always to remember that you have to practice what these books teach you. Just reading them is not enough.

9. You are learning new skills and you are improving your life. This takes time and effort, and therefore, you need to be patient. If you read too much, you might feel overwhelmed by the information. It is better to go slowly.

10. It would be a good idea to write notes while reading, about the new insights you get, and bout the advice you want to follow. If you read and go on, without taking notes, you might forget the new insights you got, and miss some important points.

Did you know that self-Improvement books and any sort of self-help books are most suitable for reading on smartphones? Let me explain.

You carry your smartphone with you everywhere, and if the book is in an eBook format, you can store it on your smartphone and carry it with you anywhere you go. Since you do not need to read more than a few pages at a time, smartphones are ideal for this purpose. You can read a book at any time or place that you want.

You can read Kindle books with the Kindle app, and you can read PDF eBooks with Adobe Acrobat Reader or any other app for reading PDF files. Nowadays, you can increase the font size and read a PDF on your smartphone in an easily and conveniently.

Reading just a few pages on the screen of your smartphone will not strain your eyes, especially since it is possible to increase the fonts’ size. You can read a few pages and think about what you read, and even practice an exercise or two, while, waiting in line, traveling by bus or train, or at any other place or time, when you have a few spare moments.

If you have never read an eBook on your smartphone before, try reading one and you will see how easy it is. I know that there are people who avoid reading on the small screen of their smartphone, especially people who are not so young. Why not be adventurous and try? You would be surprised how simple and easy it is.

If you don’t want to read a book on your smartphone, you can read it on a tablet, since it has a larger screen.

Printed books are great, and I love reading them, but I also read lot on the small screen. I can read them wherever I want, without the need of carrying a physical book with me. This enables me to read even for just a few minutes, whenever and wherever I have the time.

If you wish to learn more about eBooks, I recommends reading the article, The Advantages and Benefits of eBooks.

Quotes about Books and Reading

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”
– Socrates

“If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.”
– W. Somerset Maugham

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
– William Styron


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