Business Books: Getting the most from a business book

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BooksApproximately 6 gazillion business books are published every year. Here’s how to get the most from what’s between all those covers. There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll read only the best books, but this process will increase your odds.

Get good recommendations

Read book reviews and summaries. Pay attention to what your friends and those you follow recommend. This increases the odds that you’ll pick a good book.

Scan the table of contents

Before you decide to read a book, check out the table of contents. That’s where the author tells you what the book will cover.

Write down the questions you want the book to answer

Take the time to write down what you want to learn from the book. You may discover something different as your read and that’s OK. For now, though, let your questions guide your reading.

If the book is lousy, give it up and move on

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: life is too short for crappy books. If the book is not for you, or isn’t delivering the value you wanted, or is just plain bad, give it up and move on.

Highlight as you go

Highlight passages that strike you as interesting or insightful. Sometimes those individual passages deliver the value of the book.

Make notes as you go

Don’t trust your memory. Capture your reactions to the book’s contents as you go along.

Review the notes and highlights

When you’re done with the book, review your notes and highlights. Then do two more things.

  • Identify at least one thing you will try or do differently because of the book.
  • Identify at least one person you will recommend the book (or not) to


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