<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=577820730604200&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Explore the art of reading more effectively with these 16 essential rules for every book enthusiast.

Essential Reading Practices for Book Enthusiasts

This is a list of rules for reading books, which I admit there are no rules for. Most of these rules are good practices, but you will have to decide for yourself which rules you will observe, and which ones you will break.

Rule 1: The Joy of Buying Books

If you have the means, you should buy any book you want to read. This is true even if the book sits on a shelf for days, months, or years. When the mood strikes you, or something you read in the news or hear on a podcast inspires you, you can grab the book from your shelf and start reading.

Rule 2: Leveraging Library Resources

If you don't have the means to buy books, a library card will allow you to borrow a book. If the library doesn't have the book, they will reach out to another library to acquire the book for you. You may have to wait a week or two, but in the meantime, you can check out another book, returning it when the first one is ready for you to pick up.

Rule 3: It's Okay to Stop Reading

You don't have to read a book you started. If you have read 50 pages of the book and you're not into it, you can set the book down and pick up another book. This is much like ordering dinner and not liking the taste. You order something else that is more to your liking. You are only going to be able to read a certain number of books, so you should never feel bad that you didn't read a book you didn't like.

Rule 4: Personalizing Your Books

If you buy hardcover books that make up your library, you may not want to write in your books. There are other ways to annotate your books without writing in them. A handful of 4 x 6 index cards with your notes can live at the last page of the chapter. Another way to annotate your books is to buy a small thin journal and write your notes in the journal. A thin journal can be placed in the cover or at the end of the book.

Rule 5: Understanding Nonfiction

When reading nonfiction, it helps to capture the themes as they show up in the book. The themes will help you understand the content while also helping you see how the ideas or topics are connected.

Rule 6: Engaging with Nonfiction

Argue with the author. The person who wrote the book is providing you with their knowledge, experience, and research. You may have knowledge and experience of your own, which influences how you interpret the book. When you take notes, you may want to write down your disagreements and why you have a different perspective.

Rule 7: Expanding Perspectives in Nonfiction

If you read one book on a subject, you will benefit from reading a second or third book on the subject. For example, if you read a book on demographics, reading another one that provides a different look at demographics will help you. This rule will help you gain a more comprehensive perspective than you would have if you read only one book on the subject.

Rule 8: Focus on Impact, Not Quantity

Don't be impressed by people who share how many books they read. The number of books you read is not nearly as important as how each book changes you. A lot of people read a book without taking any action that might improve their results.

Rule 9: Embrace Diverse Reading Habits

You might read business books because you want to improve your results. But you may find that you gain more from being an omnivore, reading things that provide you with ideas and concepts that may allow you to improve yourself more than reading only one topic. Try science, history, or some other topic you might like to explore.

Rule 10: The Reality of Loaning Books

Never expect to get a book back after you loan it to someone. Right now, I must repurchase Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, perhaps the best book on writing, and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. You should think of your loss as a gift to the person who wanted to read the book. Who knows? It may change their life, or they may never open it. If you borrowed my copy of Wolf Hall, I'd like to have it back.

Rule 11: Your Reading Pace Is Perfect

As far as I have been able to discern, there is no such thing as competitive reading. So, if your friend reads books faster than you do, it doesn't matter. Having read it faster is nothing to be proud of, and reading it slower isn't anything that should cause you to feel shame.

Rule 12: Exploring Timeless Literature

Read the great works of literature. Anything people still read hundreds or thousands of years after it was first written is worth reading. You may want to buy the best copy of these works, building a library of your own. You can skip over the section of Moby Dick that provides the anatomy of whales without missing anything.

Rule 13: Discovering International Stories

You will learn much about the world by picking up books from people who have different experiences and cultures. Start with One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Rule 14: Utilizing Audible and Digital Books

You are better off listening or reading using something like a Kindle than not reading at all. If you can, however, read books. It can be more effective because it requires you to actively engage instead of passively taking something in.

Rule 15: Encouraging Young Readers

If you are able, buy your children any book they will read. In the “post–post-literate society” we live in, the ability to control your attention is going to look like a superpower.

Rule 16: Revisiting Beloved Stories

Re-read your favorites, treat them as friends, and visit them whenever you want to. You don’t always have to read something new.


Books 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on January 21, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. He is the author of four books on the modern sales approach, one book on sales leadership, and his latest book called The Negativity Fast releases on 10.31.23. Anthony posts daily content here at TheSalesBlog.com.

Are You Ready To Solve Your Sales Challenges?


Hi, I’m Anthony. I help sales teams make the changes needed to create more opportunities & crush their sales targets. What we’re doing right now is working, even in this challenging economy. Would you like some help?

Solve for Sales

My Daily Blog Post Delivered to Your Inbox

Join 41,000+ sales professionals now and get my Guide to Becoming a Sales Hustler eBook FREE.