Maximizing the Book Reading Experience

by Tyler Craig on July 19, 2011

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I’m a hater of time wasting.  It bugs me.  At the end of the day my sense of self satisfaction seems inextricably linked to how well I use my time.  I’m also a bibliophile with an ever growing library.  Given my penchant for investing, my bookshelf naturally consists of trading and psychology related material.  You can read some of my recent book reviews here.

In an attempt to use my time to the fullest as well as curb my inner reading desire I carry a book with me wherever I go.  I never really know when an extra ten minutes will present themselves.  In Louis L’Amour’s personal memoir Education of a Wandering Man he habitually compiled a list of every book he read throughout the year.  I’ve since adopted his approach and began to compile my own list.  In doing so I’ve noticed how easy it is to focus on quantity over quality.  That is, instead of focusing on how each individual book can help me become a better trader, all too often my objective seems to be to finish it as quickly as possible so I can move on to another.

To improve the reading experience I now attempt to identify at least three adjustments I can make to my trading or behavior as a result of the book’s content. Such an exercise promises me some type of progression or growth over time.

Don’t be a reading enthusiast but an improvement lackey.

For related posts, readers can check out:
My Idea Factory
The Adventures of Encyclopedia Brown
A Monopoly on Trading Wisdom

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

slavomeer July 19, 2011 at 9:28 am

good point, back to reading

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yo July 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I’d like to get an ereader but every time i look at the fine print it starts talking about how you have to convert the other guys format to your reader and such.

I’d like an ereader that you can just download whatever you want from wherever you find it and it works. Until then, i’m just going to use regular books.

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Michael Hamm July 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Hi Tyler,

In my attempts at self education in trading, I also have suffered from reading without comprehension.

I think there’s a book Investing, Last Liberal Art http://www.amazon.com/Investing-Liberal-Robert-G-Hagstrom/dp/1587991381 which talks about learning how to read with depth in one of his last chapters.

Nice article thanks!

Mike

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Tyler Craig July 21, 2011 at 8:12 am

Thanks Mike. I’ll take a look at the book.

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Copywriter July 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

It’s a great rule to identify at least three adjustments you can make to your trading or behavior as a result of the book’s content! As an avid reader I’m going to apply this too. I bought myself a notebook in which I’m going to write these adjustments down.

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Steve B July 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

Great advice Tyler. I prefer the osmosis approach myself…

I am guilty as charged. Read the book once and put it down and move on to the next one. But writing down three applications to your life/trading is a great way read for content, not speed.

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Tyler Craig July 21, 2011 at 10:46 am

You and me both Steve. It’s always more difficult to allow the content to influence our behavior. Fortunately the harder route is also the more rewarding.

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Dmitry July 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I`d like to add one thing: not every book deserves to affect your thinking, in fact after a number of finished books, it`s getting harder and harder to find the “gem” that do. So the real probem becomes: whether to allow the book you`ve just read to affect you at all. It may sound obvious – you learn or you dont, but it aint so. The book may simply be misleading, and blindly accepting it may in fact be more dangerous than productive.

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OptionBoost July 24, 2011 at 11:40 am

Great article. I find this especially true when reading manuals, or books that have to do with complex option calculations, etc. One thing I like to do is buy the book used on amazon, then mark it up with comments, thoughts about the content and bookmarks – then refer back to it after the trading day has ended.

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