5 New Rules For Book Reading


After a recent conference meeting, I offered to send out a particular book to any sales leader who wanted one of my remaining stash.  Many folks replied requesting the book and my guess is that others used the link I provided to purchase the book at Amazon. 

Super.  I love people who read business books.  They get it.  

It was a little odd though.

Some sent notes saying things like “Please send the book and I’ll pass it on to each leader” or “I’ll send back it back when I am done with it”.  These notes are from people wanting to invest in themselves and are very well intentioned for sure.  I’m convinced though, that our “Library” experiences and our “Textbook” experiences in school have fostered the belief that all books should be treated as we once were instructed to, or as we might treat fiction books today; That books are to be read and read only; That books are to be passed around, or resold or covered in protective paper and never, ever to be written or doodled in.  

It’s time for the old rules to go.  I don’t think those beliefs suit us well when applied to essential books.  These types of books I’m talking about can change your life at work and at home.   

Here are 5 new rules to go by.

1) Never Share:

It’s yours.  You wanted this book to read.  You will, if you do it right, write in this book including in the Kindles of the world.  In a mad rush some day in the future, you’ll lunge for your bookcase because you know that there is this book or this author who has that idea  and you need to read it again to move this effort forward or make something happen.  Make sure that this book is in your bookcase or on your desk when you need it.  Recommend a book?  Yes.  Share a book?  Never. 

2) Never Borrow:

Never borrow one of these types of books from anyone.  Not your colleague, not your spouse, not your friend.  Borrow means you have to give it back.  Borrow is a complete waste of time.  Think you can read a non-fiction critical book and remember the 10 essential themes or tools it teaches?  If you can, welcome to the tiny percentage of folks with a photographic memory.  The rest of us need to skip the “borrow” approach to books.  Never borrow.  Leave that to the fiction and fun books. 


3) Always Write In and Highlight In Your Book:

Have a pencil and your favorite color highlighter in hand whenever your read one of these books.  If you are into the electronic readers be careful; you have to get the ones that easily allow you to write, highlight and retrieve (and Nook ain’t one of them).  Books are a collection of moments from great teachers, researchers and leaders and like anything else, offer some moments that are better and more striking than others.  Highlight them or write a note next to that moment.  Your books should be a complete mess of color and notes.  It makes it that much easier a year later or 10 years later, to pick up this book and find what you loved about it the first time you read it.


4) Spend Money:

Spend at least $60 of your own money every month on books.  About a $2 dollars a day on ways to be better, be happier, be smarter or be more of whatever it is you want to be.  You decide if you are worth it but if you are reading this, my guess is that you are.  


5) Re-Write the Best:

If you take the time to read these types of books (and you must), do so with a small notebook that you’ll never lose (I use a small red moleskin notebook).  When you read, there are concepts that on occasion will make your jaw drop, your eyes widen and your breath quicken as within this book and on this page, a brilliant perspective screams out to you.  These thoughts are so profound that a note or highlight just won’t do and in fact, you should carry it with you. Transfer that tremendous thought to your small notebook.  Carry it with you and look at it often. 

Till next time,

Grow The Business.



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