Reading Books Is Useless: Here’s a Better Way to Read

Kevin Nokia
5 min readJan 28, 2024

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I love to read books.

I always spend some time just sitting down and reading; it doesn’t matter how many pages I read or how long. I just stay still and read. When I really can’t use paper books, I use ebooks as an alternative.

Wherever I read, especially in a cafe, it really helps me become focused and understand more about what I read. It’s just that the environment is pretty important for me to read and do some work. This is a little bit of a recommendation for you if you aren’t getting enough focus to read or study.

Find a place where you can become as productive as you are.

It could be:

  • Cafe
  • Library
  • Hotel room
  • Etc.

The environment is important for reading and doing your work, whether it’s writing or studying.

Reading doesn’t work

Even so, reading doesn’t change anything in me.

The more I read, the more I realize that I didn’t change anything. I am still the same person I was before, and reading is just some kind of procrastination for what I have to do. It’s like a delusion that I have made progress when I've actually not.

Reading is useless.

I love that people share information about how to read more, how to effectively read books, and how to read hard books. I wrote some articles about that, too.

I’m one of them.

Most people just read:

When they want to go to sleep.

When they are waiting for someone else.

When they don’t know what to do.

When they want to stop playing social media and want to be productive.

Even so, why did we want to read?

We all want to be smart.

We all want to expand our knowledge.

We all want to be able to read many books in a year.

Even so, it doesn’t change a thing if we just read the book.

This is why I switch from reading books to studying books.

Studying books

I learned this from Alex Hormozi in his Youtube shorts, where he doesn’t read anymore but studies books.

It is actually important because most people just read them and do not really plant the knowledge they understand in their minds. They just randomly read it without studying it.

The important step is studying it and applying it.

You can read five self-improvement books, apply them 100%, and you’ll be better than most of the readers.

Important key

The key to reading books is not just reading them and telling people how many pages you read.

It’s about how much you understand and apply it in your life. You don’t have to apply everything from what you read, but there’s something that you can learn and apply to become a better human being, right?

The key is not entirely about the book, but how you study it and apply it to your everyday life.

So, here’s how I study books rather than read them.

1. I don’t let myself love my book too much.

I stop loving my books too much because if I love them too much,

I will guard them,

clean them, and

avoid writing important notes and ideas in the book.

I know that you can write it on a piece of paper or in a notebook, but sometimes I want to re-read it.

If I’m trying to find my notes in my notebook, it’s going to take me some time and energy to find my book, rather than seeing the notes in the book that I read. So I avoid that by just making a tick or line on great paragraphs or sentences.

That helped me to focus on the marked sentences and really pay more attention to them.

This works for quick notes, but if you want to make a summary, of course you will need a notebook or a piece of paper to write it down.

2. Write it down, highlight it, and repeat it until it sticks in your mind.

It’s just like a common study method.

You write something down, and you read it over and over again. You try to explain it in your own words on your notes and repeat it. This way, you will understand more and understand how you can implement it in your own way.

The more you understand, the more you stick with the book.

3. Re-read the same book that you want to apply to.

I read Atomic Habits by James Clear more than once.

It’s because I want to apply it. You can do this too for the books that you want to apply in your life. You don’t have to apply to every book that you have.

If you find something useful, write it down.

Sometimes there are books that explain just one concept but make it into a one book. So for a book like this, you only need to write down a single idea or summary, so you don’t have to re-read the whole book.

But if the book includes a lot of ideas and implementation, I suggest you re-read it and make an ultimate summary of it.

The purpose of studying books doesn’t really mean that reading is wrong.

It’s just a method that’s much more effective than just reading with your eyes and hoping you can change your life.

So, it is important for us to understand that it’s not wrong with reading; it is just not effective if we want to implement it in our lives.

I hope it helped, and don’t stop learning!

“Reading is to The Mind as Exercise is to The Body.”

— Brian Tracy

Reading without implementation is useless.

As well as using our eyes to “read” the words from the book we are reading without understanding them.

This is why I made a free template for you. I hope you can use it as an easy way to study books with implementation guides.

You can download it from the link here: Let’s start studying!

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Essential Resources for Your Journey 📚

  • My Booknotes (Free) | Download here
    Understand What You Read with Implementation Guide
  • Life-changing Blueprint (Free) | Download Here
    How to Change Your Life with Implementation Guide
  • 30-day Simple Habit Tracker (Free) | Download Here
    Track Your Daily Habits with Customizable Months

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Kevin Nokia

I help people replace their scrolling addiction with effective reading habits to improve their focus and attention span. https://substack.com/@kevinnokiawriting