Earlier this year, members of my CEO group strongly recommended I start reading more business books. I had been reading lots of blogs and news articles, but no serious "let's get better at business" books.
Before this year, I'd approached business reading like I approach novels. I'd sit down and try to go cover to cover. That didn't work well, and I'd built a stack of unread books. I didn't seem to retain much either.
I now have a new approach:
The steps I take to each book are:
1- I read it quickly. I'm OK with skimming entire sections if an idea is not novel.
2- If I find a concept that is new to me, I highlight it. I'm reading with a pen and highlighter in hand.
3- Afterwards, I go through the book. I review the items from #2.
4- I pick one of those ideas and blog about it here. Teaching the idea seems to reinforce the learning.
5- This is a bonus: I give away all books I read.
So far, my results are excellent. I read 6 books on a week long vacation this past August.