How I read books: a guide on how to learn

Instead of reading 100 books, it's better to find one that really changes your life.

Knowledge is much more valuable when we can act on it, and change our behavior.

I'll need a system that will allow me to easily capture everything, build on top of that, share with the world.

Mental models and how they work as lenses through which one perceives reality. Based on our perception, we make decisions, and take actions. Mental model affects perception -> decisions -> actions. Learning and reading = upgrading your Mental Models.

Stages of effective reading

  1. Active learning / reading
  2. Processing and reflecting
  3. Repeating
  4. Presenting
  5. Taking action

How to turn knowledge from your short term memory into your long term understanding?

Active reading

Taking Notes

  1. Short summary — what is this book about (one major takeaway)
  2. Why am I reading this book
  3. Chapter reviews and Notes (this will be organized in a way so I can test myself later on)
  4. Great quotes (something I'd like to learn by heart and use later)
  5. Actionable items (books should be changing our actions and behaviors)
  6. Summary (3–5 main takeaways from the book that resonate the most with me)


Creating a mindmap of a book or some concepts that it presents is a great way to actively work and interpret the information.

Active Recall

Create a summary of each chapter

To move the knowledge from short term memory into a long term understanding we should create concepts in our brain and try to interpret them. The best way to do that is to write down a summary for each chapter without looking back.

Create bullet points and test yourself

Put your subconsciousness to use

Before you go to sleep, think about the topic and ask questions. I will be writing them down on a piece of paper. Once I wake up, the first thing to do is to write my dreams or thoughts down.

Repeat and retest

The best way to repeat something is when you are learning more on this topic, or when you need these thoughts for actions on your business and or other decisions.

Present your findings

To understand and remember material present it to someone - talk, blog, videos, etc.

Feynman Technique

  • Identify the subject. Write down everything you know about the topic.
  • Teach it to a child. If you can teach a concept to a child, then you're way ahead of the game.
  • Identify your knowledge gaps. This is the point where the real learning happens.
  • Organize + simplify + Tell a story.

Personal Examples by Author.

Goals for reading books? (Personal to the author)

  • Learn new concepts and ideas
  • Create actionable items and change my behaviors
  • Build on top of concepts and share my thoughts with the world
  • Create an easily accessible database (my external brain)
  • Get inspired

Why I am reading this particular book...

  • It's applicable to my current situation (so I can make better decisions)
  • It inspires (so my mental state is great and I'm full of energy)
  • It gives new perspective (when I want to learn something new)