Learn to become a more effective reader

reading_graphic_1This is what effective non-fiction reading looks like. After reading an interesting book, the reader’s mind is filled up with new information and new ideas.

The reader has also picked up a deeper understanding of the particular area the book covers and can use that knowledge in the future.

reading_graphic_greyBut unfortunately for too many readers, reading is not like that. When you’re not using effective reading strategies, you just don’t get as much benefit from reading books.

New information and ideas are much harder to remember because they don’t stick in your mind and therefore you end up having much less useful knowledge to apply in the world.

The need for understanding

As life becomes more and more complex, understanding how the world works is not just intellectually fascinating but also a critical necessity if we are to live our lives to the fullest and have more of a positive impact on the world.

book_cover3Books are one of the main ways through which we can explore the deep patterns that explain how the world works: why humans are motivated to behave the way they do; how historical events cast their shadow over the present; how ideas contribute to change; how ecological, religious, economic and political systems structure the world; what business strategies work; and how we can find meaning.

At the moment, I am writing a manual to highlight the best strategies for reading non-fiction books because I want to help people get much more benefit from the books they read. It should be ready next month.

The 80/20 Principle applied to reading

The 80/20 Reader manual is based around the 80/20 Principle, which has been popularised by the writer and investor Richard Koch. The Principle suggests that, in the case of non-fiction books, you get 80% of the meaning of a book from 20% of the words and that 80% of the value that you get from books will come from only 20% of the books you read.

Of course, the 80/20 Principle isn’t a mathematical law but the understanding that a minority of the paragraphs in a book provide the majority of the meaning and that a minority of the books you read will have have a disproportionate impact on you allows for the development of some very useful strategies.

Free email mini-course

Please subscribe below to a free email course I have written to help make you a more active and engaged reader. You will also be notified when The 80/20 Reader manual is on sale and be offered an introductory discount.

The topics of the email mini-course include:

  • why read?
  • the importance of being an active reader
  • finding books with the most impact
  • deciding how deeply to read a book
  • how to identify the big picture of a book
  • how to remember more of what you read
  • dealing with your book backlog
  • increasing your attention span
  • the pros and cons of using Kindles and other e-readers.

Francis Miller