Stone Soup for Five: How do you read non-fictions books?

How do you read non-fictions books?

How I approach reading books has changed drastically over the last couple of years.

One of the best things I've changed is the unwritten rules I had of never creasing the spine, never dog-earing books, and never, ever writing in them (because then if I ever want to re-sell them, I wouldn't be able to... nevermind the fact that I was saving my books for somebody else.)

Somehow, slowly, all my previous thoughts have changed.  Now, usually within the first few pages and a scan of the table of contents, I can tell if a book is going to be one I'll keep and refer back to.  If it is, then I tell myself it's okay to mark it up, because it is solely for my growth and improvement.

My favorite non -fiction book that I have been through at least three times now, and continue to get information out of is Elizabeth George's A Woman After God's Own Heart.  
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This book is so marked up, dog eared, and highlighted.  It is by far the most loved books of mine, ever.
I'm such a visual and hands on learner that the more I note, highlight, doodle, or write, the more it becomes a part of my thinking.

I don't want to be a person who just accumulates information but never uses it.  
I want to grow, change, and improve myself with every day that passes.

Just reading and getting rid of or shelving the book is never going to do that for me.

I also have a composition notebook that I add additional notes, or use if I'm borrowing a book and can't write in it or mark it all up.  This notebook is so fun to go back through and look at again and again and remember what I thought was important.

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(notes from Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey)
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I have pages of notes from books, blog posts, podcasts, anything that I want to remember and am sure I will forget.  Sometimes instead of reading a book, I'll spend some time just reviewing what I've already read and taken notes on.

Another great resource for how to get the most out of your reading is this podcast by Michael Hyatt

I love Michael Hyatt and the way he gives real "you can do this right now" application to improving your life.  He's got a wealth of information in his podcasts, books and blog posts.

I think the only way to use information and turn it into wisdom is not merely reading and accumulating, but thinking through application and how you can use it.

How do you read Non-fiction? 
Leave any tips or thoughts below, I'd love to hear them!

1 comment:

  1. I do the same thing. In fact my Elizabeth George copy looks like yours. I loved it and still refer to it. I mark up these books and like you keep a journal to fill out so I can remember certain pearls of wisdom.


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