5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Reading Self-Help Books in a Short Period of Time

As booklovers, we can all relate to having an ever-growing and never-ending reading list. Sometimes, it seems that getting through one book only seems to end up having us add more books to our list based on the recommendations of others or Goodreads suggestions.

Often a considerable portion of the books on our reading lists tend to be self-help books. However, reading a self-help book from front to back can end up being a daunting task that ends up falling lower and lower on the priority list when it comes to leisure activities.

Here are 5 easy tips to help you read self-help books on a regular basis without having a hard time getting through them:

  1. Make sure you choose self-help books that are relevant to your present life. Trying to read something that isn’t relevant to your current situation makes it difficult to absorb and retain the information you’re reading.
  2. Look through the table of contents before reading. Many of us believe that in order to get the full benefit of a self-help book, we need to read the whole thing. Although maybe realistically we don’t have the time to get through an entire 300-page book about negotiation, budgeting, or anything else you’d be likely to pick up a self-help book on. Choose your top 3 sections from the table on contents before you start reading to prioritize your reading time.
  3. When reading self-help books, treat the time as intentional work time – instead of leisure time. Often, we equate reading during our down time as a leisure activity. However, if we’re reading with the intention of acquiring a new skill or learning a new perspective it’s important to recognize maybe it won’t be as fun as say… heading for drinks with friends.
  4. Set a timer and remove distractions. Set a timer for 45 minutes and remove all distractions to get the most out of your reading time. In terms of information retention, a couple of timed, intentional reading sessions will always be more effective than multiple shorter sessions.
  5. Take notes and talk about what you’ve just learned.  While reading, it’s always a great idea to take notes including page numbers and important concepts that stand out to you so that you can come back to them later. After reading, find someone you can talk to about what you just learned. Relaying the information to someone else can have a massive impact on your being able to retain it.

The next time you find yourself visiting beautiful Puerto Vallarta, be sure to check out our used bookstore in the Romantic Zone; a Puerto Vallarta icon for over two decades. Our Puerto Vallarta coffee shop offers thousands of used books to choose from, including a whole self-help book section. Plus, check out our full menu with sandwiches, salads and more at our Romantic Zone café in Old Town Puerto Vallarta!