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How to read a book

I had a great conversation with a close friend of mine the other week about how to read a book.

I know it sounds simple in it’s premise and that people like myself and my friend should know how to read a book and trust me, we do.

But the topic was how you read certain books and also, as importantly, how we write too.


I love reading.

It’s a habit that, if I was to choose one that will alter your life for the better, it would be atop of the list.

There’s a saying success leaves clues, reading is the biggest clue by far.

The lessons taught and knowledge garnered from the many amazing authors and teachers are boundless.

Imagine being able to learn from some of the greatest minds in the whole world, across history and being able to select from the wisest of men.

Teachings of kings, emperors, rulers and slaves alike.

Sport stars, businessmen and coaches giving you their life experiences across hundreds of pages.

Differing opinions alongside differing perspectives but all valuable knowledge and lessons themselves.

Ways to succeed and ways they failed.


We think our pain and suffering is our own when we are struggling in our mire of self pity or distress. Our melancholy feels heavy and a burden and that no one could realise how we feel, until we pick up a book and read it happened to someone else two thousand years before.

We think our pain unique until we read a book.


But there are many ways to read a book.

There are lots of different books that require different perspectives if we are to get the most from them.


My friend and I were talking about my writing style and my coaching style in the one conversation.

I was explaining the difference that I see in coaching  in that I believe, coaching is about revealing to your student or client a lot of what is already inside them, whether through your guidance or not, and allowing them to find the answers you have guided them towards’ likely through your previous teachings.

And to cut the conversation short, it took us on to other books and how they are written and how they’re meant to be read.

In my writing style, I like to use a lot of questions.

I do this so the reader can look internally for answers from the things I may have taught them previously, or that I can reveal to them later.


Personally, I love a book that I can just pick up and extrapolate lots of actionable points from that I can embrace in my practices.

When the author says “This is how I did this, so if you follow point A you eventually will receive B” etc or something along those lines.

I’m taught a new skill and will use it in my life.


But I also like reading and pondering.

Being asked a question, maybe not directly but reading something that then causes me to ask a question.

A question of myself.


This is where a book like meditations comes in to play.

You wouldn’t just sit there and read meditations cover to cover. It serves as a book to pick up and contemplate the Roman emperors musings and thoughts alongside your own.

Your own interpretations on what he thinks or was thinking at that time.


Tolstoys calendar of wisdom is exactly the same.

A musing or thought On a specific development. Spiritual, ethical or religious.

Seemingly these kind of books paving the way for the likes of the ‘page a day’ books around now.

Pages meant for creating the environment to make you think intrinsically.

A very different style of reading than the page turners but non the less extremely important for your development.


I always say carry two books with you.

One to write in and one for reading.


What kind of book would you carry with you?


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