There are two reasons why you initially pick up a nonfiction book. The first is because it fascinated you. You are curious. The second is because it’s going to help you solve a problem. When you read multiple books at once with these two reasons in mind you’ll start to see connections between ideas in a more efficient way.
There are tons of reading strategies out there to help you remember what you read, read faster, read smarter, read for longer periods of time and many more. This specific reading strategy will help you read multiple books at the same time.
4 Ways to Read Multiple Books & Remember
1. The Blocking Reading Strategy
I was reading through Deep Work by Cal Newport when I discovered a strategy called blocking. The book describes it as doing your deep work for example, 1 hour, and then stepping away from your work completely once that time block is done then coming back to the same task or a different one later in the day.
Since I read multiple books at a time (I’m reading seven at the time of writing this. You can subscribe to this website to download my 38 Best Books List for FREE and see what I’m currently reading every month) I thought that blocking could be a great reading strategy to help me stay focused with short 10-25 minute spurts per reading session. I keep it short because I’m able to remember more of what I read if I don’t go over 25 minutes in one session.
If you want to apply this reading strategy then after finishing a session you should go off and do some other task and then come back at a later point in the day. You can then read either the same book or a completely different one. Since you’re learning about the reading multiple books strategy I recommend trying out different combinations of books. You can do this with as many books as your time during the day allows.
2. Read Multiple Books & Take Extensive Notes
It’s important to take extensive notes while reading multiple books at once. When I refer to extensive I don’t just mean underlining and highlighting, I also refer to writing your thoughts and questions in the margins.
Take it a step further, I also want you to transfer your notes directly from the book into a digital document. My favorite place to keep digital notes is in Google Docs because I can access it anywhere, even if the device isn’t my own.
But of course you don’t want to go and highlight every single phrase in the book. It’s much more efficient to look for the gems that are going to help you solve a problem. If you try and remember everything in a book you will end up not remembering anything. I go into deep detail about this strategy in my online course.
It sounds like a lot of work to do but the benefits will help you to remember even more of what you read.
Make Categories for Each Book
When transferring your notes to Google Docs you want to be sure you can find what you’re looking for easily. I recommend making a separate category for each genera of book. So you might have a marketing document, parenting, and public speaking for example. This will make it easier for you when you come back to review your notes.
Now that you have got used to taking extensive notes and transferring them into your Google Docs you can start reflecting on those notes daily.
Every day when I read I pick one major takeaway I can immediately apply in my life. I write this takeaway down in my SPAR Mastermind Accountability Group and share how I’m going to apply it in my life. I will work on that one specific takeaway until I’ve made it a habit. The I’ll move onto the next.
You can do this with multiple books by focusing on different areas you need to improve on. For example, I’m reading Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson and The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene right now which are both very different books.
Quote from The Laws of Human Nature
“Learn to question yourself: Why this anger or resentment? Where does this incessant need for attention come from? Under such scrutiny, your emotions will lose their hold on you. You will begin to think for yourself instead of reacting to what others give you.”
My Reflection: The more you bring your insecurities to light the more you will realize your flaws. You will come to a realization that you choose how to react and feel in certain situations. So from now on don’t be so sensitive, show gratitude and be open to better situations.
This reflection will be very different from the one I get from Traffic Secrets.
Quote from Traffic Secrets
I gave my Dream 100 free accounts, no strings attached, so they could use the product. When I was launching my books, I sent free copies. With my courses, I provided free access. Your best promoters will always be your biggest fans.
My Reflection: I’ll start doing this with trusted influencers as I do believe in the power of WoM Marketing. You give and will eventually receive without even having to ask.
This is something you can do too. By reflecting every day you internalize that specific takeaway and make it part of your life. Making the takeaway part of your life is the next step.
4. Knowledge Without Action is Worthless
The last step to getting the most while you read multiple books is implementing the most relevant thing you’ve learned for each book. The key word here is relevant implementation. If you don’t know whether the takeaway is relevant then you can start experimenting with it, kind of like a trial run.
But if you do know for sure that you want to make the takeaway part of your life then go for it. Since you’ve taken extensive notes which you can access anywhere with an internet connection and you have reflected every day on one major takeaway you’re going to apply in your life you can then make progress toward Your BIG Goal (free lesson).
Each of the steps I’ve mentioned so far lead directly to this last step. One without the other will not be as effective. If you do end up trying these strategies out, then do all of them.
Will You Read Multiple Books?
Challenge yourself! That’s what lifelong learning is all about. If you don’t challenge yourself with something like reading multiple books about several different topics it means you aren’t growing enough.
You can reach your full potential through following the step I offer on this website and especially The 6 Principles of Lifelong Learning Online Course.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and start learning. If you do need help reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave a Comment
Good tips. I read a couple books at a time as well. I do not take a lot of notes though, which I’ll work on.
29 June, 2020 at 7:54 pm
Good to hear from you again. What do you think is holding you back from taking more efficient notes?
2 July, 2020 at 6:42 pm
It depends. I do not take a copious amount of notes. I only take down about three to five ideas from the book. From those ideas, I implement them into my life and study them further in other articles, other people’s opinions, videos, podcasts, and scholarly articles.
29 December, 2020 at 9:56 am