Readers are Leaders.
That quote will live forever in truth hehe.
But many of us, even though we know the benefits of reading, we still find it hard to read. I looooooove to read and by God’s grace, I read quite a number of books monthly, and maybe a book or 2 a week. I want to share my top 5 tips for reading, retaining and applying MORE
NB. This post was first published in September 2021.
Today, we are talking a topic I am so passionately in love with, which is reading.
I recall I heard from Mrs Jumoke Adenowo this quote many years ago…
Reading is a crystallization of a person’s best ideas.
So true because authors usually give their finest moments to researching and writing. They pay so much sacrifice to get a book out, minimizing or even brutally eliminating distractions, sometimes taking retreats away from the world lol, cutting sleep short and pouring their all into it. So when you hold a book, the amount you paid for it is NOTHING compared to the value you get from it.
Which is why I love to read and no matter how busy I get, I always make room in my life for a book… or six.
Someone once asked me how come I read so much, and if I understand and even recall everything I read, not to talk of applying, and this is where my tip number one starts (though it is not the most important ooo)
- You don’t NEED everything the Author writes
I think this is the BIGGEST reason that keeps people from reading. You think you need to clear lots of space in your mind (and schedule) and let everything be perfect for your reading, assimilation and applying, before you start reading, and since that never happens, you keep postponing starting, thereby wasting precious time.
Everything MAY be important to the WRITER (it is their baby after all), but NOT EVERYTHING is important to the Reader, that is you. So before you read, sort of be open to what gap exists in your life that this book can fill, and maximize focus on those portions. Then happily apply the JOMO principle…
The JOY OF MISSING OUT on everything else.
In simple words, find the MEAT of the book, and stick to it. What this means is that you will be reading some pages faster than normal and some may need you reading it twice or thrice.
Don’t feel guilty about what you left out. Feel JOY instead. There is a limit to how much your brain can take anyways.
I am currently rounding up Juliet Funt’s A Minute to think. Part 3, especially the first two chapters were faster to read because they didn’t really apply to me, so I gave it less time and attention, skimming through it faster and without guilt.
2. Insert REPEAT&WEDGE moments between MEAT
Ok, what does this mean, E?
So once you identify a meat in any book, quickly repeat maybe once or twice, and then take frequent WEDGE moments to quickly take it from the outer court of your brain to the inner court, where you find places in your life RIGHT NOW to apply it immediately. That way, what you have read crystallizes because you took those extra 5 to 10mins to ENGAGE DEEPER with the meat.
Every chapter in Part 2 of A minute to think was so relevant that I first of all, immediately purchased the eBook, because I was listening to audio before so I could engage my eye senses to it, then took notes, noting also how I can apply it to my life RIGHT NOW. Those chapters are crystallized in my brain more than the ones I mentioned earlier.
3. From Leisure to Necessity
Ah, this one is KEY because when we were growing up and we would be asked what we liked to do in our leisure, we would say READING. The error of that is that we now start to see reading as what we do ONLY when we have the time, as opposed to what we MAKE TIME FOR.
This for me is the biggest tip.
I have so much knowledge gaps in my life, and God has blessed some of His children the world over with WISDOM on those matters, and they obeyed Him to distil all into a Book. I would be foolish to NOT read it and instead wallow in my ignorance.
What this means is that READING for me is LIFE.
Just as I need to eat to LIVE, I need to READ TO LIVE too.
So I am CRAZY INTENTIONAL about going for knowledge in places I have seen a gap. I get on Google and search for Books on that topic, or try to call to memory people who have recommended books like so, that I respect. I also check if my fave authors have any books on that topic, then I find it, buy and make time to read.
As I plan my day, I plan at least an hour, usually more, to reading EXCLSUIVELY. I set my timers too so I am not distracted away from it. Sometimes it is brutal as I wont eat, or even break a fast until I have finished the prescribed portion for the day, no matter how my tummy or emotions are shouting.
I have dreams on a regular, but recently, in the past 4months or so, it increased and got more significant. I struggled with interpreting and I knew there were INSTRUCTIONS from God and if I didn’t steward it right, they would cease. because I know it is such a delicate topic, I was careful too in recommendations when I went on Google. I actually searched to see if a Prophetic author I respect and whose books I had read, had anything on dreams and I saw that he did. James Goll, DREAM LANGUAGE
I got it and in 3 or 4 days of intense focus, reading and taking notes, and joyfully skimming through places not relevant to my season, I was done. I made so much room in my life and so far, I have started to further understand my dream language
4. Reading Buddy, anyone?
This is especially key if you lack the discipline to go at it alone, so find an accountability group or even a friend and both of you can decide on a book to read and review together. Please don’t be casual. Do a timetable and have a deadline. Have specified days and times you come together too to read.
I mostly don’t do this because with God’s help, I have the discipline to read alone and people will even slow me down because I can read whole books in 2 days, but I am happy to lead Book clubs here and there and I see how that really works
In The WILD, a praying community of women I have the privilege of leading, we have regular book clubs and this year alone, we have read and reviewed three books together
Fasting by Jentezen Franklin
The Blessed Life by Robert Morris
Circle Maker by Mark Batterson
The reviews have been PHENOM, especially from my sisters who find it hard to read.
5. Ask the LORD to give you a DESIRE to read, then START
This is another key step we tend to side step because we think it is not a big deal. I actually have a strong desire to read. So strong that I sometimes taste it in my mouth and it wont leave until I get a book and read.
I read in between work. I read anytime I get a quick minute, maybe someone delays me a bit. I find every excuse for s book. I recall my brother gave me this 25k last month for something I didn’t quite want to do at the time (Gym membership), so I went to Laterna and spent it all on Bibles and Books before I knew what I was doing. And I had other needs o, but the desire made other needs pale.
I believe the desire grows as you read and see the impact, BUT hey, the seed first can be a gift from God as an act of mercy because you need it.
So get on your knees now and ask the Lord to give you that desire.
Father, I pray for my sisters reading this who desire and want to read but lack the discipline, wisdom and even desire to start.
As they read this, may you fill them with all that they need, including the right accountability they need, and may they go out there, find the right books for their seasons, and start reading.
And may the fruits of their new discipline of reading blow their minds, bless the world and bring glory to your name, in JESUS name, amen.
Thank YOU Jesus.
Ok, happy reading and God bless you.
With so much love,