It struck me recently that all the books we own aren’t worth a damn unless we open them again. It’s not like we can google them. Without a periodic refresh, what good are they? For example, Stephen R. Covey’s The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. I’m a HUGE fan of this book. But I haven’t read it or even cracked the cover in a few months. Ditto Jim Collins and his Good to Great. The first gives me all kinds of useful ways to perceive life. The second makes me reconsider business, and what matters to me with regards to business.

  • Set aside time.
  • Take out a few 3 x 5 cards and write notes.
  • Remind yourself of the key things that mattered.
  • Ponder whether you’ve changed.
  • Determine if you’re using the teachings without thinking about them.
  • Revisit and reconsider.
  • Share your learning outward.

All of those will give you some potential ways to improve yourself with resources you already own and that you’ve already identified as valuable to yourself. And, as an added BONUS HACK, if you don’t really like the book upon re-reading, donate it to your local library and make room on your shelf for better books.

–Chris Brogan is a bona fide bibliophile. He writes about what he’s reading over at [chrisbrogan.com]

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