Finding The Best Books For You
Ever wondered how to know what are the best books would for you to read?
Whilst most of us agree that reading is a great habit, let’s face it… we’ve only got time to read so many books. A great book can equip and inspire, but what book is great for you?
A few thoughts on selecting your best books
#1 Look for a book that reads you
Sometimes you look at the front cover of a book, and something that grabs you and draws you in, almost as if the book has read something about you. If you’re looking to develop in a certain area, and there’s a book that jumps out at you, start flicking those pages… if you can’t put it down, you’re likely on a winner.
Recommendations, particularly from people you trust, are a great way to find your next resource.
When I have a friend or mentor recommend a book to me, it’s usually because it has greatly impacted them, or they know me well enough to know that I need to read it. In the very least, this is usually a good sign to check it out.
A good book recommendation rarely fails, and if does, find a new friend*
*please note, this is not an actual recommendation to ditch your friend, just perhaps a sign I need to read another book on social skills. Any recommendations?
#3 The classics, bestsellers and best books by influence
There are a few books that are just good for pretty well everyone. Classics such as Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” are pretty hard to wrong with (maybe I should read this one again). For business people, Michael Gerber’s “E-Myth Revisited”, or “Good to Great” by Jim Collins have been highly influential and arguably some of the best books for business in our generation.
#4 Use reviews and book excerpts
Sometimes you’ve got an idea of what type of book you want (e.g. productivity), but don’t know which book or books you should read in that category.
Most online bookstores are going to not only have reviews of books you’re checking out, but also an excerpt, so you can preview a bit of the book before you buy it. Using these can help you discover books that you wouldn’t have otherwise found.
#5 You’ve heard about this book before…
Any book that keeps showing up on your radar from multiple sources, like you hear it referred to in an article and then a friend recommends it, is worth looking into… I recently got hold of ‘Bold’ by Peter Diamandis because I heard it being referred to in several different sources.
#6 The author has insight you want to learn from
Whether you heard the author promoting the book in a keynote, podcast, or you’ve read some of their other work, sometimes you just want to catch something from the author. Referring back to my latest book purchase, when I heard the author on a couple of podcasts, I knew I wanted to learn more from his perspective on disruptive technology, so I got the book.
#7 Because the book was given to you
Ever been given a book, left it on your shelf for ages, finally picked it up and read it – to discover it was the best book you’ve read in ages?
If you’ve been given a book, particularly when someone you trust has selected for you, it’s generally worth at least checking out… eventually.
On that note, there is no law against reading only part of a book (you read part of websites, newspapers and instruction manuals all the time). So if you’ve been given a book, sometimes reading just enough to get a key idea is all you need, and enough to show your appreciation to the person who gave you the book.
What book are you reading next?
So rather than just reading about reading, what book is next for you?
Have you got something in mind, going to call a friend for a recommendation, search online, or just wait for something to come across your path?
Whatever you choose, happy reading!
A note of thanks to Tony…
This article was inspired by recent comments from Tony, on a previous article, ‘Some advice to my younger self’. Thank you Tony for your question about how to determine what are the best books to read. Here is the article I promised in reply. Would greatly appreciate your feedback and to know if this is what you were seeking to know.
Feel free to share in the comments below your book recommendations.
What are the best books you’ve ever read?