Self Help

How to Read a Self-Help Book

The reading of a self-help book is known to produce a desirable and positive

reaction in the reader. We are fortunate that there is a group of authors who

have the unique ability to write in a manner that sows seeds of thought

which motivate those who are searching for self-improvement to find it. The

reader reacts with desirable action. However, a self-help book is not to be

skimmed through the same way that you might read a novel.

1. Concentrate

Read everything you can find about those who have had successful careers

in your own field. Also read success stories about people in other kinds of

work and find the common denominator. Read with a pen or pencil in your

hand and mark or underline the passages that speak to you.

2. The Author as Mentor

Read as if the author were a close personal friend and were writing to you –

and you alone. Look upon the author as your personal mentor whose

knowledge and wisdom will guide you to achieve your goals.

3. Know what you are looking for.

Recognise the principles that you need. Follow Abraham Lincoln’s example.

When he read, he took time for reflection in order that he might assimilate

the principles into his own experience.

4. Get into action – try the principles that are recommended.

See how you can apply these principles to your own situation and put these

ideas into action.

5. Read for general content.

At the first reading you can read for content, to grasp the sweeping flow of

thought that the book contains. But also take the time to underline important

phrases ands to make notes of important ideas.

6. Read for particular emphasis.

A second reading is for the purpose of assimilating specific details. You

should pay particular attention to see that you understand and really grasp

any new ideas the book presents.

7. Read for the future.

On a third reading pay attention to passages that have a particular meaning

to you. Find ways they can relate to problems you are currently facing or are

likely to face in the future. Test new ideas; try them; discard the useless and

imprint the useful indelibly on your habit patterns.

8. Read later to refresh your memory, and to rekindle your inspiration.

All of us may become discouraged from time-to-time. We should re-read the

best of our books at such times to rekindle the fires that got us going in the

first place.

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