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.
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