How to benefits from books

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One of the things that amuse me whenever I go to the bookstore is seeing some guys curling up in a corner, reading and taking notes from a book. It is obvious these people found the points mentioned in the book interesting, useful or both. In other words, they know that the book is useful. But for one reason or another, they are not willing to buy the book. So they take down some notes, hoping to benefit from the book without having to buy them. Free advice!

The only problem is that this strategy doesn’t work! Never has, never will. I guarantee it.

Let me now share the correct, right and in fact, the only way you are going to benefit from books.

Firstly, you must read the book at least three times. Yes, at least three times! Why? Because you will understand the content better and also see things that you may have missed the first time around.

Next, you have to mark the important points as you go along. Mark it, underline it, highlight it. Why? Because it will make it easier – saving both your time and effort – when you review the book later. Don’t worry about all those markings defacing the book. Remember that a book is meant to be used, not purely for display.

Now after extracting the pertinent points from the book, you have to put the knowledge into action. Knowledge is only power when applied. If you just read the book but not apply the knowledge, all that happens is that you become a learned fool. You know a lot but not benefitting from the knowledge, which perhaps beat the purpose of reading the book in the first place.

Finally, you have to review the book again and again. Perhaps once a year or so. Only then you will remember the points and can therefore continue to benefit from the knowledge.

Naturally, all these steps will mean that you must have the book with you. Reading it once at the library, and certainly skimming it for free at the bookstore, is not going to work. You will not benefit because you will forget the points. I can reveal that I have to read my own books because I myself forget the points. (Of course, the fact that I have written 30 books only compounds the matter.) Imagine that? If I as the author can forget what I wrote, how can others remember it if they read it only once?

In other words, you must own the book. Which means that you have to buy them, or steal them! (Needless to say, you will not even consider the second method.) Anyway, the average book in Malaysia cost an average of RM30 or RM40 – the equivalent of a day’s meal for most of us. In other words, anyone can afford them. You can miss a day’s meal; it will not kill you. But the knowledge from the book can feed you and your family for a lifetime, not to mention feed others as well. Actually, all you have to do is to buy and read one book a month, and you will be ahead of ninety percent of the population. Isn’t that a worthwhile thing to do?

For those who are still in doubt, think about this for a minute: have you ever known or heard a person becoming rich, happy, healthy, successful, etc. because he skimmed books for free? NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!

So to recap, you must read and reread books in order to benefit from them. That is why I buy books, read and reread them over and over again – over 700 of them. In fact, I have read some of those books over a hundred times each. That is the main reason why you heard my name.

It will also be the reason why others will be willing to pay tens of thousands to learn from you.
 

Copyright © Azizi Ali 2008

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