Claudia and I read a lot of books and listen to a lot of audio programs and podcasts. On a recent trip to the library, we checked out fifteen books. I’ll admit, we went a little overboard. We didn’t quite get through all of them before they became due.
But, we do read a lot of books! The other night we were talking about how we get the most out of the books we read. We came up with things such as taking notes, underlining and highlighting, and rereading an interesting or complicated section.
However, it dawned on us there was one thing beyond the shadow of a doubt that made the biggest difference in getting the most out of a book. That one thing was:
Reading and discussing the book with another person
For us, this has been so effective as a married couple, but it’d hold true with a trusted friend or small group as well.
We discussed this key at length and boiled it down to three reasons why reading a book with another person and discussing it is the number one key to getting the most out of a book.
Three reasons why this is key
1. It helps us remember the content.
The act of putting what we read or listen to into our own words when we discuss it with another person helps us remember the material better. Not only that, hearing someone else’s perspective or thoughts and takeaways reinforces the principles as well.
2. We can brainstorm actionable items.
This is where the other person can keep us accountable with the things we’re learning and the changes we want to make. With a close friend or spouse we can talk about how to apply specific actions to our life today.
3. The teamwork helps us make exponential progress.
When we’re on the same page and learning something with another person, we are both moving in the same direction. Just think of how disconnected we’d feel with another person if we were reading a book on the importance of activity and they were reading a book on the importance of being still and relaxing.
There are many ways we can get more out of a book. But, the one thing that has helped take our reading and our relationship to the next level is reading a book together and discussing it.
Question: Have you ever read a book with another person or small group and discussed it? How much did you get out of the book?