How To Get The Most Out Of A Book

How To Get The Most Out Of A Book by Charles Sledge

It’s been said that a book isn’t worth reading unless it’s worth reading at least twice. I’m not sure I agree with this statement one hundred percent but there is something to be said for it. Some books (the good ones) are so deep and rich in knowledge and learning that they take more than just read through to fully grasp and understand everything that is contained within. I’m not just talking about the classics or works of philosophy either, there are books on attracting women, fighting, and making money that I have read many times over.

Looking back I wish I would have followed what I am about to online here. I would have gotten so much more out of the books that I read and reread the first time through. Don’t get me wrong I still would have ended up rereading them but it would have been with a much deeper and richer understanding of the materials within. Don’t think because you have read a book that you necessarily understand everything that is contained within. Understanding takes layers and remember no matter what repetition is ultimately the mother of learning.

First Things First – Selection Of The Book

Not all books are worth rereading or even diving deep in to. Some books are structured so that they are to be read through once and then you would have pretty much absorbed everything that you needed to absorb. Some books are just that shallow. Not that there is anything wrong with that for example a book on how to do a specific thing such as format an e-book or set up a website could be read once and that’s really all they need to be read. However others require multiple read through to get all of the knowledge. These are the types of books that you want to select for this method of getting all that you can out of them. If you’re going to drill down only do so where there’s oil.

The Three Methods

You can select one of the methods listed below and you would get much more out of reading but I would recommend all three methods for maximum effectiveness. Reading is so fundamental to success you want to make sure you are getting the most out of it. Every method will increase retention and understanding of the material and putting all three together will provide you with a deep and full understanding of the material involved. Now on to the methods.

Method One – Read Each Chapter Twice Before Moving On To The Next One

This method has proven to be very useful to me. Even when I’m not doing it for every chapter in a book (though that is recommended) I’ll still reread through chapters that were either particularly important or a bit confusing to me. Especially with new concepts it’s good to reread through them. The first time is for the general outline of what the chapter is talking about and the second is for the details. Especially with good books where you can overloaded with good information and need to go back through to have it settle in on a deeper level.

Method Two – Outline The Book In Separate Notebook

I know that when listening to speakers that I’m pretty much only going to remember what I write down with books it different but the writing process can still help the information get down to a deeper level of your mind. When you write down something in your own handwriting it becomes yours in a way. It becomes a part of you at a small but noticeable level. This is why writing out famous sales letters is so great for copywriters, it makes us internalize the structure and nuances. Write down important ideas and even whole quotes that stand out to you. I’ve written chapter summaries before (after reading them twice) that help to really get the main thrust of what the chapter was about.

Method Three – Reread Once A Month

There is a certain rotation of books that I try to reread through every other month. This list grows which is why it changed from every month to every other month. I have to make room for new knowledge as well as going over the old. I would encourage you to start building up a list of books that you reread once a month. All of mine are nonfiction but there is no reason a fiction book couldn’t be thrown in there as well. I find that each time I reread the book I come away with new knowledge. Eventually the book comes off the list as I have squeezed all the juice out of it so to speak. Giving a month in between readings allows time for the new insights to settle and room for more. If I read it back to back my mind would glaze over what was contained within. The space allows for a fresh look when you do reread it.


So there you have it three methods to get the most out of the good books that you read. I would encourage trying it on a book that you know is going to contain lots of good information and that is going to take more than just one read through to fully and completely understand everything that is contained within. This will hold especially true if this is a new subject or way of thinking to you. I remember the first red pill book I read just blowing me away it was so different than anything I had read before. Same with entrepreneur books and others. Use these methods to conquer a new subject easily.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it.

-Charles Sledge

Charles Sledge