Home††† David Mays†† June 27, 2008


Reading Tips

David Mays


In five years, you'll be pretty much the same person you are today,

except for the people you meet and the books you read.

Madeleineís grandfather


Show me your library and Iíll show you your destiny.



Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx



How to discover books you want to read:

  • Ask people what they are reading:friends, colleagues, your pastor.
  • Watch for book reviews in the magazines you see.
  • Note books referred to in books and articles.
  • Get on the mailing list for publishers' catalogs.Glance through the flyers.
  • Frequent the library. Look in the new book or featured book section of your library.
  • Keep a list of books you want to read in your wallet or Daytimer.


Where to get books:

  • Borrow from individuals.
  • Borrow from your local library.Use the interlibrary loan.
  • Borrow from your church library.
  • Borrow from another nearby church library.
  • Ask your local library or church library to buy books you want to read.
  • As a last resort, purchase.[If you buy a book, you don't have to read it because you can always read it later.If you borrow a book, you have to return it.]


Finding find time to read books:

  • Steven Covey says to put the big rocks in the jar first.After itís full you can still pour in lots of water.Make reading the water.Fill in the cracks with reading.
  • Develop a habit to reach for a book whenever you have a minute.
  • Talk with people about books and ideas.
  • Keep books handy, especially near the TV and the bedstand.[Groucho Marx said, "I find television very educational. When someone turns it on I go in another room and read a book"]
  • Prioritize your important reading.
  • Intersperse long or difficult books with shorter or easier books.
  • Read a wide variety of books, including children's books.
  • Read books instead of magazines and the newspaper.(Itís the same old newsójust happening to different people!)
  • Read instead of watching TV;if the TV is on, hit the mute and read while it is on.
  • Take a book whenever you leave the house.Someone might be late or not show up.Keep a book in the car.
  • Listen to books on tape while you drive your car.
  • Reward yourself for finishing a substantive book by reading a light book:fiction, children's books, classics.
  • Read large print mysteries or westerns on the treadmill.


Tips for getting the most from books

  • Ransack books.Look them over.Check out the author and introduction.Read only the sections you need.
  • After you have read several books on a subject, look for the new or novel ideas.
  • Hunt for practical information. Skim sections that are weak, irrelevant or that you already know well.
  • Look for the key idea.Many books would make a substantive magazine article.
  • If the book isnít worth it, donít finish it.


Taking notes on books

  • When you see something that catches your attention, make a tic mark in the margin.Develop your own code, quote marks, bracketts, etc.Write the page number on a 3x5 piece of paper you use for the bookmark.
  • Go back and write up the notes.
  • If itís a borrowed book, erase the tic marks!
  • Keep your notes in a 3-ring binder and write the year, month, and the book number on the upper right corner.Number your notes sequentially starting over each year.
  • Set up and maintain a data base of the books youíve read.