Friday, May 23, 2008

How to read a book

Seth Godin has an excellent blog entry on how to get the most from reading a business book. As someone who is passionate about books and about reading, this really got my attention. In his post he talks about programmers reading programming books, and how just reading the book doesn't make you a better programmer.

He then goes on to list three steps for how to properly read a business book. (Go ahead and read the post. I'll wait...) As I was reading his ideas I couldn't let go of his programming example. When is the last time I followed his advice (or anything like it) while reading a programming book? I mean, really followed it?

Or when is the last time I followed his advice while reading a self improvement book (like Covey's Seven Habits)? Or when reading a cook book? Or...or...or...

I think Seth's suggestion goes far beyond business books. In fact, when you read any book that isn't for pure entertainment, you should consider Seth's suggestions. Anything else is probably just wasting your time.


Anonymous said...

Those are good suggestions. What are the top three business books that you would recommend?

Cliff McCollum said...

My top three:

(1) The Innovator's Dilemma
(2) Built To Last
(3) Communities Dominate Brands
(4) The Dip (bonus entry)

Of course, that list could change with the next book I read.