How To Get More Out of Your Reading

September 13, 2010

Reading books – I am very much a bibliophile and often searching for ways to get more out of my reading.  Michael Hyatt, in his post “How To Retain more of What You Read”, shares a method by which he captures what is important to him as he reads a book.

He develops a “Net Out” for each book, which is a one page document although he has also added an optional second page.  His Net Out has four primary sections with an optional fifth section.

  1. Bibliographic Heading. This includes the title of the book, the author(s), my name, and the date of my review.
  2. Quick Summary. This is a one-paragraph summary. It’s like an “elevator pitch.”
  3. Key Insights. As I am reading the book, I highlight it as usual. I usually find something worth highlighting every few pages. Then, when I am finished, I go back through the book, and record in my own words those items that particularly struck me.
  4. Personal Application. This is the key.  I try to list two or three things I am going to do differently as a result of what I learned in the book. (I try to list no more than three.)
  5. Meaningful Quotes. In almost every book, the author says things in a way that are worth remembering. I like to identify these with the letter “Q” in the margin as I am reading and then and include them on second page of the Net Out.

If you are a reader, this is a great method for getting more out of what you are reading.  Go to his article for more detail and for an example of his “Net Out”.

How do you get the most out of what you are reading?

Blessings on your week – BG