50 Powerful reading tips

Black Pundit

Senior Member
Dec 24, 2022
50 Powerful reading tips from the four smartest readers I've come across

1) Read what you love until you love to read.

2) Reading a book isn’t a race—the better the book, the more slowly it should be absorbed.

3) Read out of curiosity and interest. The best book is the one you’ll devour.

4) If you can speed read it, it isn't worth reading.

5) A vacation is a very expensive way to schedule the time to read a book in peace.

6) Read to satisfy your own natural curiosity, not to impress or accomplish.

7) Learn to love to read, and all human knowledge is available to you right now.

8) Sequels are rarely good because the author that dumped decades of insights into the first book is suddenly given months to produce a second.

9) Good books are worth re-reading. Great books are worth re-buying.

10) When you’re reading a book and you’re confused, that confusion is similar to the pain you get in the gym when you’re working out. But you’re building mental muscles instead of physical muscles. Learn how to learn and read the books.

11) Number of books completed is a vanity metric. As you know more, you leave more books unfinished. Focus on new concepts with predictive power.

12) I would rather read the best 100 books over and over again until I absorb them rather than read all the books.

13) Feel free to skip around; it’s your book. There are books that I’ve literally started in the middle. I’ve read near to the end and then I’ve put it down...That liberation, that freedom just allows me to read.

14) Just like the best workout for you is the one that you’re excited enough to do every day, the same way I would say the books...to read are the ones that you’re excited about reading all the time.

15) The great thing about reading is you can use that to pick up any new skill. So if you learn how to learn, it’s the ultimate meta skill.

16) In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.

17) It’s the hard books that count. Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves; digging is hard, but you might find diamonds.

18) Every book should be read no more slowly than it deserves and no more quickly than you can read it with satisfaction and comprehension.

19) Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.

20) In tackling a difficult book for the first time, read it through without ever stopping to look up or ponder the things you do not understand right away.

21) Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. Presumably he knows more about the subject than you do; if not, you probably should not be bothering with his book.

22) Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.

23) Great speed in reading is a dubious achievement; it is of value only if what you have to read is not worth reading.

24) Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it—which comes to the same thing—is by writing in it.

25) The most important thing to remember about any practical book is that it can never solve the practical problems with which it is concerned...a practical problem can only be solved by action itself.

26) Bring a book with you everywhere. I’ve read on planes and beaches, in cars and in cars while I waited for a tow truck...take the pockets of time you can get.

27) Bring a pen with you too. Reading is better if you’re taking notes.

28) Beat them up. Books are not precious things. As an author, I love it when people hand me a book to sign that has had real miles put on it. When people hand me a pristine copy and tell me it’s their favorite, I assume they are just flattering me. It’s obvious what my favorite books are…because they’re falling apart.

29) If you see a book you want, just buy it. Don’t worry about the price. Reading is not a luxury. It’s not something you splurge on. It’s a necessity. Even if all you get is one life-changing idea from a book, that’s still a pretty good ROI.

30) Don’t just read books, re-read books. There’s a great line the Stoics loved—that we never step in the same river twice. The books don’t change, but you do.

31) As I said, speed reading is a scam. You just have to spend a lot of time reading.

32) If a book sucks, stop reading it. The best readers actually quit a lot of books. Life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy reading.

33) The rule I like is ‘one hundred pages minus your age.’ Say you’re 30 years old—if a book hasn’t captivated you by page 70, stop reading it. So as you age, you have less time to endure crap.

34) Don’t just build a library, build an anti-library—a stack of unread books that humbles you and reminds you just how much there is still to learn. It’s a sign of what you don’t yet know. It’s also a resource there whenever you might need to do a deep dive into that topic.

35) You say you don’t have time to read but what does the screen time app on your phone say? What does your calendar say?

36) Reading is a long-term investment I make in myself. I don’t have the time not to.

37) When it comes to reading, my philosophy is simple: Skim a lot of books. Read a few. Immediately re-read the best ones twice.

38) The person who reads one great book twice is better off than the person who reads ten average books.

39) There are no rules when it comes to choosing books. We don’t have to read bestsellers, or classics, or books everyone else raves about.

40) Speed-reading is bullshit. Getting the rough gist and absorbing the lessons are two different things. Confuse them at your peril.

41) Reading fast is worse than not reading. Reading fast gives you two things that should never mix: surface knowledge and overconfidence.

42) Finding time to read is easier than you might think. Waiting for a bus? Stop staring down the street and read. Waiting for a taxi? Read. On the train? Read. On the plane? Read. Waiting for your flight? Read.

43) There’s an advantage to be gained from reading things other people are not reading because you will gain knowledge and insights that not everyone else has.

44) While rereading can seem like a waste of time because there are so many other books to read, this is a misunderstanding of the learning process. The goal is not to read as many books as possible. The goal is to gain as much wisdom as you can.

45) Teaching others is a powerful way to embed information in your mind. Upon completing a book, grab the nearest (willing) person and tell them about what you have learned.

46) Quality matters more than quantity. If you read one book a month but fully appreciate and absorb it, you’ll be better off than someone who skims half the library without paying attention.

47) Book summary services miss the point. A lot of companies charge ridiculous prices for access to vague summaries bearing only the faintest resemblance to anything in the book. Summaries can be a useful jumping-off point to explore your curiosity, but you cannot learn from them the way you can from the original text.

48) If you want new ideas, read old books.

49) Ignorance is more expensive than a book.

50) Reading the same thing as everyone else is only going to put the same ideas in your head that everyone else has.

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Which reading tips did you find most valuable?

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