Become A Better Reader

readerReading is a linchpin skill. If you become a better reader you’ll not only improve, you will be on your way toward mastering your life!

As a coach, I get a lot of questions around becoming a better reader:

  • How can I do deep work?
  • How can I get the position I really want?
  • How can I best spend my time?
  • How can I process things faster?
  • How do I take a stance but not seem wishy-washy?
  • What can I do to increase my concentration?
  • How can I enjoy reading?

Books offer an opportunity to begin broad-spectrum, fundamental improvement in coveted privacy. Here’s how to begin:

Approach becoming a better reader as a discipline:

Make reading an activity you integrate into you life with the underlying purpose of improvement. You read not only to grow intellectually but with the intention to increase discipline, focus and concentration. Overtime you will recognize increased confidence, a better self-image and your mental stamina has increased as a result. Not to mention you will know books inside and out. 

Read to accelerate your ability to decipher meaning and quickly identify key points that are useful and make you highly effective. Develop the ability to quickly distill your own interpretation of meaning. This will help you develop the skill of quickly diagnosing complex or sticky situations.

Investment and enjoyment in becoming a better reader:

As you become a better reader you will get comfortable with books. You’ll see how books are put together, the opening, building the points and the conclusion. 

Eventually you will get to the point where you can scan a table of contents and know what you want to get out of the book and what you don’t need to spend valuable time on. Books will become your friend.

Read extensively and widely to grow in your thinking and to evolve your perspective.

Document what’s relevant and important:

Use colors to highlight points that are important to you. Write your thoughts in the margins; use an asterisk, star or your own symbol system to remind you what was important about that point.

Use sticky notes to reference page numbers, write your own ideas on meaning, symbolism, interpretation, etc….


Create your own table of contents that references page numbers and ideas you want to revisit for inspiration, and cementing the lesson to practice.

Condition yourself:

Whether we are reading Dr. Seuss, writing Gulliver’s Travels or studying balance sheets, no one is exempt from distractions. One becomes conditioned to sit and read as a discipline for up to an hour at a time.

There are people who read for hours and think nothing of it. They have developed the stamina for it. They have become conditioned. They weren’t born with this ability. They developed and cultivated the ability through investing in themselves this way.

Reader: The habit that keeps on giving

Reading well can set you up to develop core strengths that will allow you to change your life. It’s one habit that keeps on giving.

A book is a version of an interpretation. Take it and make it yours. Spin and twist the ideas to your situation. How can you use and apply what you are reading? Make your own interpretation and think and act for yourself, on yourself.

Books open doors and each one allows more light in. Books can help you understand and also help you feel understood.

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very far off after all. Abraham Lincoln

How You Read is Important

Don’t just scan the text material for facts and highlights. Read. Then contemplate the meaning. What do the passages or information mean to you? Rest and give yourself space. Sense the closeness of the knowledge you are with. And resolve to apply what resonates with you about the reading. Vow to revise your maps to what new knowledge you have gained.

This kind of reading is knowledge building. We all need to grow in knowledge, kudos for taking the first step!  

In his 2012 book The Beginning of Infinity, physicist and author, David Deutsch wrote that all failures and all evils are due to insufficient knowledge. Problems persist but we must keep improving and growing in the knowledge that helps us uncover and eliminate errors.


The answer to every question in life can be found in books. Brian Braudis


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