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Reading The Same Books Over and Over vs Reading Different Books

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VicFountain

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I got struck by this idea: what if reading 2-3 books over and over again for a few months is actually better in terms of return compared to reading, say, 20 books?

Paradoxically, I got this idea by reading unscripted after 1 year of not having touched it. While I was re-reading it today, it felt like reading a new book.

My theory is that with time we achieve new experiences and we start connecting what we read to these new experiences, strengthening the synapses that weren't in your brain before.

Not to mention that most of what we read gets lost in the background, preventing the concepts to cement in the brain.

My experience with bulk reading is that you barely remember the majority of what you've read. In fact, what remains in your head is probably just the 20%.

Now, I'm going to experiment with reading 2-3 books over and over again for 2-3 months.
The goal is to try to connect the concepts with 2-5 different real-life examples before moving onto the next paragraph. This might seem boring to many, but I believe this is how we actually learn the most.

Anyways, has anyone tried re-reading the same stuff several times before putting the book back on the bookshelf and checking in the reading list?
I'm really curious about this.
 

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Dark Water

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I think it is really dependent on what you read and what you're trying to accomplish. Re-reading Huckleberry Finn might help you grasp the story more or takeaway a key lesson or two, but is probably a futile goal in terms of what it does for you big picture. Meanwhile, re-reading something like Unscripted or The Lean Startup while you work on your ideas might reinforce what you are doing and help give you the framework for the bigger picture of where you're going while you're stuck in the mud working on lower level concepts.
 

S.Y.

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I do both.

I have a core set of books I read over and over. Few of them cover to cover. But mainly, I go back to specific parts to re-read them.

I also new books every now and then.

I don't think one is better than the other. I see it more as having a healthy and dynamic mix of both.
 

Bigguns50

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I can only tell you what works for me.
I read a LOT. Here's my method. BTW....I always read to learn.

1)Skim through the Table of Contents
2)Skim through the Chapters that interest me or I think are important to get a feel for the content.
3)Read Chapters I choose. As I'm reading, I'm highlighting and taking notes.
4)At the end of each Chapter, I Summarize it.

At some point in the future, I review the books I want. Everything is highlighted, notes taken, and my own Summary at the end of each chapter. I don't re-read the whole book. I learn well this way. Hope this helps.
 

Odysseus M Jones

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Or you could just apply what you read & you'll remember it much faster & more permanently.

By all means read it a couple of times and dip into chapters when you need information, but you'll forget if you don't use the knowledge.

Why not read different books on the same topic? Gain perspective, insight, different points of view. That's what we were taught to do when studying English.

Read widely, read deeply.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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When you read novels you’re immersing yourself. You’re wearing a characters shoes for a while and seeing how they fit. If you’ve never been a father and you read Cormac’s The Road.. the shoes are much too big for you. After becoming a father that book hits in completely different ways.. not because the book has changed but because you have.

Self-help books are the same. You only take from them what you can handle. As you grow in experience you can handle more so, for instance, a particularly deep and informative self-help book like Unscripted or The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron will have more to say the second time around.

I have often participated in the book challenge that asks, “What 3 (or 5 or 10) books would you bring if you were stuck on a desert island?“ It is ALWAYS difficult to me.

I used to schedule rereads of certain books because as I was reading them I knew I wasn’t getting everything out of them but if I’m honest.. I never get around to re reading most of them because I have so many more books I want to read. Lol.
 

farmer79

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I think it depends some books just lend themselves to rereading and some don’t. In the case of MJ’s books I find that I am energized to reread after the Fastlane Summit or when I spend a lot of time on the board. I have read MFL prob 4-5 times and I have to say sometimes I feel like every page is new information. I have read unscripted twice and had the same feeling. I think perhaps I don’t retain quite as well because I essentially agree with everything being written, so it may not stick with me quite as well.

Reminisces of a Stock Operator is a book I have read probably 10 or more times since the late 90’s and as a stock trader feel like I have learned and been helped every time. I knew virtually nothing about the stock market when I first read it and thought I knew everything after I read it the first time, and could not believe the main character in the book could keep making mistakes and blowing up his trading account. 20 years later I realize how little I know and appreciate the complexities of the book/market that I didn’t at all grasp the first time through.

I definitely think what has happened in your life affects how you perceive things and information in a book. I believe Mark Douglas in his book “Trading in the Zone” talked about reading (about trading especially) being a little bit like looking in a mirror. The page merely reflects what you already believe and understand and where you are at in life. While I don’t believe this is entirely true, I think there is some truth to it. It would also give credence to rereading books as your life changes.

For example I was far more motivated by money when I was younger and everything MJ wrote regarding building a business I saw through the lense of making lots of money. Now I am 40 with kids and have some measure of financial success and to be honest my wife and I both have modest tastes. For example I could not get excited about owning a Lamborghini. But now the idea of trading time for money just repulses me. Time is precious, for example I don’t know how to code/program and I am sitting on the couch trying to teach my 6 year old to make a game in Scratch. He is laughing at me because he is getting it faster/better than I am. Do I want to trade an hour like this for $30? $40 $50? So now when I read MJs stuff it isn’t for more money necessarily but how do I reclaim my time. How do I eliminate from my life trading time for money.

I still love reading a biography or story that I’ll only read once. But I think the best books must be read every few years.
 
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Jaco

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I got struck by this idea: what if reading 2-3 books over and over again for a few months is actually better in terms of return compared to reading, say, 20 books?

Paradoxically, I got this idea by reading unscripted after 1 year of not having touched it. While I was re-reading it today, it felt like reading a new book.

My theory is that with time we achieve new experiences and we start connecting what we read to these new experiences, strengthening the synapses that weren't in your brain before.

Not to mention that most of what we read gets lost in the background, preventing the concepts to cement in the brain.

My experience with bulk reading is that you barely remember the majority of what you've read. In fact, what remains in your head is probably just the 20%.

Now, I'm going to experiment with reading 2-3 books over and over again for 2-3 months.
The goal is to try to connect the concepts with 2-5 different real-life examples before moving onto the next paragraph. This might seem boring to many, but I believe this is how we actually learn the most.

Anyways, has anyone tried re-reading the same stuff several times before putting the book back on the bookshelf and checking in the reading list?
I'm really curious about this.
I got struck by this idea: what if reading 2-3 books over and over again for a few months is actually better in terms of return compared to reading, say, 20 books?

Paradoxically, I got this idea by reading unscripted after 1 year of not having touched it. While I was re-reading it today, it felt like reading a new book.

My theory is that with time we achieve new experiences and we start connecting what we read to these new experiences, strengthening the synapses that weren't in your brain before.

Not to mention that most of what we read gets lost in the background, preventing the concepts to cement in the brain.

My experience with bulk reading is that you barely remember the majority of what you've read. In fact, what remains in your head is probably just the 20%.

Now, I'm going to experiment with reading 2-3 books over and over again for 2-3 months.
The goal is to try to connect the concepts with 2-5 different real-life examples before moving onto the next paragraph. This might seem boring to many, but I believe this is how we actually learn the most.

Anyways, has anyone tried re-reading the same stuff several times before putting the book back on the bookshelf and checking in the reading list?
I'm really curious about this.
Great post and topic, thanks. Personally, I find there is a big difference between reading self-help type books and fiction or other. For instance, with MJ’s books I read at a very slow pace and have gone back to reread entire sections or chapters, highlighted taking notes etc. I’ve also found over the years that it’s OK to read multiple books at the same time, especially if they are in completely different genres. This keeps things entertaining. I’ve taught my children the same thing.
 

mon_fi

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Do both, I read multiple books at the same time and re-read some dense conceptual or informational books such as TMF.
 

Thinh

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It is exactly what I'm doing since 3 months (except for one new book) and you know what? I slapped myself for not doing this earlier.

Here's why:
  • As you said, when you read a book once, 80% gets lost. Add 15% that you don't necessarily get the first time, and you get only 5% of useful knowledge.
  • When you re-read books, not only you retain information better, you understand things more profoundly, or interpret passages in a new way altogether, based on your current situation and experience in life, which is often different from the first time you read the book.
  • But, most importantly in my eyes, you don't need a bazillion books to move forward in life. And re-reading books instead of buying new ones help a ton in this area by making you avoid falling into the trap of the shiny new book or procrastinating and thinking you always need more knowledge when what you need is taking action.
Books are like good friends. It's good to check on them every once in while rather than just once and then forget about them.
 

Bruno Calisso

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That is exactly what I do. When I want to master some field of knowledge I spend days searching the web for the best books about it, I download like the 15 most popular books, read all the reviews and when I figure out which of them are the best I buy the physical format, I don't like to have more than 2 or 3 books of the same subject on my minimalistic but effective bookshelf, having so always feels counterproductive to me (unless they are vol 2, vol 3, etc.), so they really have to be the best on the field.

The problem with this strategy is sometimes you'll buy some books that after all aren't that good, I just toss them out and repeat until I get it right. I usually buy 3 books, two books are the oposite view of each other, then the third book I get is the neutral/imparcial opinion on the subject, and from there I develop my own line of thought.

Nevertheless, it is always good to keep reading different views to make sure you aren't cultivating a parcial and wrong opinion on the subject, but having more books is neither helpful, better to regularly read the best than having a bunch of non sense average quality books that only waste your time and focus.

With a book as great as The Millionaire Fastlane I easilly got rid of a bunch of business books. That is the difference between having a few best and a ton of average books, finding what you need will save you precious time.
 

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Hadrian

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My Two Cents:

I used to read a LOT of books, see my own website recommendations:
Banshee Apps | Apps Development Studio | Dublin, Ireland
but eventually I found I was in agreement with Hal Elrod who says you fool yourself into thinking you are growing and developing but in essence you quickly forget most of what you read and you actually apply few of the principles...

Now I spend 80% of my time recycling about 4 books on Audible when I'm commuting to and from work:
~Fastlane Millionaire
~Unscripted
~Think and Grow Rich
~Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs

Every time I read Fastlane or Unscripted I consolidate or find a new understanding of a concept I hadn't absorbed the last time.... Today it was "Feduciary" :)

But as I said... its just my two cents!
 

lucasb

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In Blanchard's Know and Do book, he talks about this.

The surprising truth that we forget the most important concepts after a few days of having read or heard something important.

The fundamental thesis of the book is that important concepts must be reread over and over again so as not to forget them.

I bet Demarco grabs his head every so often when he sees that we forget the most important concepts in his books.
 
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VicFountain

VicFountain

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Wanted to give a personal update.
I started reading 10X by Grant Cardone. Even though I always believed he is just a guru, I decided to read his book given the positive reviews I've seen even here on the forum.

Well, I tried applying the principle I described at the beginning of this thread (i.e reading the same paragraphs at least 10-15 times before moving onto the next one, trying to force your brain to come up with past experiences) and the differences are HUGE. I feel like I'm retaining much more information this way and no wonders. This is actual science.

Edit: read the first 10 pages. Wow, my mindset has been f*cked up for so long.
 
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DayIFly

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I've started to read "How to Read a Book" by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren and it has great ideas of how to get the most out of books. On Amazon you can read the first four chapters before buying, if it sounds interesting, give it a go, I'm definitely recommending it.
 

van__minh

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I prefer to read a lot of books on a similar topic. And most of the time you should be open-minded.

Take what you like because people have different views on things and you shouldn't only agree with your favorite author.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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I've started to read "How to Read a Book" by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren and it has great ideas of how to get the most out of books. On Amazon you can read the first four chapters before buying, if it sounds interesting, give it a go, I'm definitely recommending it.
That book! Omg gaaaaaaahhhhh but it’s good.
 

Lyinx

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That book! Omg gaaaaaaahhhhh but it’s good.
here's another book that's good :)

I just started reading a book that is written up with examples, and you need to fill out an answer to each question before moving on.. I thought "hey, I can do this, but I don't need to write down the answers"

1/4 way through, I looked at the one example, and said, wait a minute! these numbers don't take all things into consideration!

Turns out, the guy is teaching you to be a CEO and see things that aren't there (which I knew, but thought he's telling things)
now, I'm reading the book with a different outlook, I question every little thing if the details are missing, and I am enjoying the book 10X what I've enjoyed a lot of other books out there :)

This author looks like an up-and-coming author, he only has two reviews on his amazon book, but I'd say (and please be gentle on me) that his book is as revolutionary as MJ and Fastlane principle is, but in it's own way. If you want to get into a CEO mindset/business mindset, read this book and fill out the questions... it's mindblowing!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1983272299/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Martin.G

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I read a lot, and I try to read new books always. But also once in a while I reread a book too.

Also, when I am interested in some subject, I try to read a lot of books about that. I know that some tend to repeat the same ideas, and maybe you can see it like a copy of the precursors, but you can refresh some concepts and could find some gold nuggets in the process.

For example Atomic Habits and Tiny Habits. Both are about the same, but they present the ideas in different ways that maybe can resonate better with you. Also, they offer different advice of how to improve in something like habits.
 

Lyinx

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@Lyinx Oh I found a book friend! Ok I’ll read your book if you read mine. This book is about how our habits form who we are and that we can’t expect our hearts and personalities to fundamentally change if we don’t change the habits we have.

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit: Smith, James K. A.: 9781587433801: Amazon.com: Books
Bought it... will let you know when I'm done... :) out of every 10 books that I pick up and start reading, I'll read 3 of them (and when I say I read 50 books in a year, a put down another 10 or 20 that I didn't read) so I'm not committing to reading it all the way, just to starting on it :)
 

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VicFountain

VicFountain

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I picked the 4 books I'll re-read over and over:
- TMF
- Unscripted
- The 10X Rule
- Psychocybernetics
Honestly, I haven't found greater books mindset-wise. Also I want to avoid reading more than 4 books cause that's action faking field for me. Even one of these books alone should be enough for you to get results in real life if you apply its content.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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@Lyinx

Ok dude I read most of your book and did the questions and holy crap I do NOT think things through at all! Also, I don’t like numbers or responsibility. I do love talking about feelings though! ROFL.

Interestingly enough the more I read it (and the book somehow consolidates epic amounts of wisdom from a multitudinous amount of authors) the more I was reminded of a few ppl on this forum who, at a moments notice, can recite long lists of information concerning their products, ROI, taxes, etc, etc.

If precision about a subject equates to your level of conscientiousness about the subject then it does make sense that people who are wealthy track their figures and think about their figures much, much more specifically than others.

I’m giving it 3 stars for a self-help book because he definitely illuminated my tendencies to be a careless thinker but, for me, I felt he missed the mark because I just wasn’t ready for that level of detail. I feel fairly certain that someone who was actually closer to becoming a CEO might like it a lot more since they would already be at a level of conscientiousness in their thinking that he is so passionate about.
 

ChrisV

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I think there's no easy answer to this question.

"Which is better reading a new book or one I've already read"

It depends. I mean there are certain books I'll reread. Because there are certain books that every time you read them it's like reading a completely different book. You're a different person so the message you pul from it will be different.

After reading different books, I put them into tiers. Let's call it a 'star rating.' Some books get 3 stars while some get 5. In general the 5 star books are worth re-reading. Those are generally the books that are so deep that you get a new meaning every time.

It's a truism around here when someone asks "what book should I read" the answer is "the one that helps you solve whatever problem is in front of you," and I think that answer also applies to your question.
 

Lyinx

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@Lyinx

Ok dude I read most of your book and did the questions and holy crap I do NOT think things through at all! Also, I don’t like numbers or responsibility. I do love talking about feelings though! ROFL.

Interestingly enough the more I read it (and the book somehow consolidates epic amounts of wisdom from a multitudinous amount of authors) the more I was reminded of a few ppl on this forum who, at a moments notice, can recite long lists of information concerning their products, ROI, taxes, etc, etc.

If precision about a subject equates to your level of conscientiousness about the subject then it does make sense that people who are wealthy track their figures and think about their figures much, much more specifically than others.

I’m giving it 3 stars for a self-help book because he definitely illuminated my tendencies to be a careless thinker but, for me, I felt he missed the mark because I just wasn’t ready for that level of detail. I feel fairly certain that someone who was actually closer to becoming a CEO might like it a lot more since they would already be at a level of conscientiousness in their thinking that he is so passionate about.
Umm, so 3 stars because your not ready for his material? Lol..
I'm reading you are what you love, it's interesting.. will give it a free more chapters before I either read all of it or put it back till later. Having passed the glance over test is a big step...
 

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