Michael Hyatt’s This is your Life (How to Read Non-Fiction Books?)

In this episode, Michael had asked from people on how to read non-fiction books and make it more valuable. Thus he had come up with ten (10) best practices in reading non-fiction books, as follows:

Michael Hyatt

  1. Don’t feel that you need to finish. (Most books aren’t worth finishing. Some books are boring. Books recommended by friends are most likely to finish. It’s the author’s job to keep readers interested. Once he lost focus and repeats himself, the book will most likely not be finished by the reader.)

  2. Start with the author bio. (Know the book’s author through his bio. It pays off to know the author’s heart and mind because you’ll spend a couple of hours dealing with his book. Sometimes you can google the author, check his website or Wikipedia to know more about him)

  3. Read the table of contents. (Understand the book context through the table of contents. Table of contents is like a map. It presents where the book is starting, going and how to get there. On the other hand, annotated table of contents give more than the chapter titles and is considered a wasted opportunity in selling a book.)

  4. Quickly scan the whole book. (Don’t do speed-reading; just have a quick fly-over to the author’s sample writing. Read a few pull quotes. Look at subheads. Reading is about context.)

  5. Highlight important passages. (Always use a highlighter in reading books. Highlight the part of the book that resonates to you. This part when highlighted and read again will stand out. The better the book, the more highlight.)

  6. Take notes in front or in the margin. (Take notes to have a convenient summary on what you are reading. Going back to the book and re-reading notes is helpful to think about the book. It’s an interaction between what you’re thinking with what you’re reading.)

  7. Use a set of note-taking symbols. (Use symbols like a star for important or insightful items in the book. If the book has an item that needs further research or resolution, use question mark. Completed items, on the other hand, can be check off. This will pave the way to easily find what you are looking for when you go back reading again the book.)

  8. Dog-ear (or bookmark) pages you want to revisit. (Bookmark the important passages by folding the corner of the page. Books are to be consumed and interacted with, to be chewed up, or to be swallowed )

  9. Review the book and transfer actions to a to-do list. (Bookmarks, highlights and symbols placed in books can be use to transfer them to your to-do-lists once you do rereading.)

  10. Share the book’s message. (Books are meant to be shared. Blog books you loved. Do a full-blown review or book giveaway to mention books you loved. This is because books can be transformative.)


“Leaders read and readers lead.” – Michael Hyatt

“Great books are contagious” – Thomas Nelson

Michael emphasized aside from the ten (10) best practices the importance of reading in this episode. He said that, “If you’re going to grow in your personal growth and in your leadership, you have to find time to read.” Reading, for Michael, is the primary way of stimulating the mind to generate as much content and it had more to do with one’s success on one’s career than any single factor.


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