Tips to Make the Most from Reading Self-Help Books and The Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books

Tips to Make the Most from Reading Self-Help Books and The Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books

Tips to Make the Most from Reading Self-Help Books and The Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books

We’ve been reading (and loving) self-help books for years! But it wasn’t until that we finally started to apply what we were learning. Which means it wasn’t until then that self-help books actually started to have a HUGE impact on our life (which you can read more about here). So today, we thought we’d share simple tips to get the most from self-help books in your twenties. 

These suggestions are just based on our experience and are in no particular order. We hope you find them helpful! We have also covered the benefits of buying second hand books. 

These suggestions for reading self-help books are just based on our experience and are in no particular order. We hope you find them helpful! We have also covered the benefits of buying second hand books. 

How to read self-help books? Read with your own life in mind.  

The first thing you should always keep focused on is how the book can help you with your life. Otherwise, you fill your head with the author’s story, information you can’t really use, tips that aren’t even applicable to your situation and that’s not going to very helpful. 

Just like it has no use for you to learn how to do a great job interview while you have a great job and no intention of leaving. We mean, you can read it, but keep in mind that it’s less important than the stuff you could use to improve your life right fucking now. 

Take it slow.  

This is not a fiction book where you can skip over a boring conversation or rush through the riveting build-up to get to the plot. In these books, if you read over stuff, you’re going to miss stuff. So really try to take it sentence by sentence. Let it sink in a little, think about a certain phrase or quote for a minute before you go onto the next part. 

Take action-oriented notes 

As you’re going along, highlight, and take notes on what resonates with you. And more importantly, take notes on how it can apply in your life as you go along. How would this apply to your own life? Once you read through the entirety of the book, look back on your notes and map out a game plan for taking action on 1-3 things you learned in the book. 

Tim Ferriss writes notes directly inside the first page of the book, using the first page to jot down page numbers in the front of his book with a short sentence to help remind him about why he highlighted the paragraph that he did. 

Listen to audiobooks 

If you still feel like you’re too busy to read, have a look into Audible! Audible is an app that lets you download audiobooks straight to your phone (you can get your first book free with their free trial – amazing) and we’ve been obsessed with it ever since we discovered it way back in 2013! 

Listening to audiobooks is perfect if you struggle to fit reading into your daily life (since all you need is your earphones and phone) and it’s super easy to use! 

Try doing a few of the assignments in the book. 

Often, these types of books come with assignments or tips. Try them. Seriously. We’ve heard they are in it for a reason and not just for decoration. Crazy, right? 

Do experiments after each read 

Have you ever thought to map out a plan based on strategies laid out through the self-help book? 

Well, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer do just that in their podcast, “By The Book” where the two ladies choose to live by a self-help book for two weeks straight and document the process. You can totally do the same thing. Create experiments to live out the book that you read. Most self-help books give you specific action steps you can use to work through the books. You could even use the guidelines set in the “By The Book” podcast to try it out yourself for two weeks. 


There’s the real punch line: just because some smart ass wrote it down doesn't make it a universal truth. Epiphany: not everything will work for you, not even if it did for somebody else before. So, if you’re a night owl and meditating at sunrise does not give you mental peace but overwhelming rage instead, maybe it’s not the best idea to keep trying. And if the Cabbage Diet give you gas, for the love of God (and people around you) please realise you need to try something else. 

If it works, if it’s effective and you’re reaping benefits, continue. If it doesn’t work, you can either try to tweak it so it can be effective or you stop and start doing something else. Just do whatever you need to do to make something work for you. 

Read less, apply more 

This is definitely one of my biggest recommendations – read less and apply more! If you’re a perfectionist like me, you want to feel productive all the time. And reading a lot of books will give you that feeling. But it was only when I started reading fewer books (but reading them more thoroughly) that I could process and apply what I was learning. So please, read less and apply more. That’s my biggest advice. 

Join a book club 

Personal growth book clubs are a great way to make what you read memorable and action-oriented. With the power of community, you can gain insights from the group on what stood out to them, talk about how to apply it to your life, and read self-help books you might otherwise skip over. 

Read it again 

If there’s a book that really resonated with you, it might pay to read it again. We guess this is part of reading less and applying more – in many cases, we think it’s better to spend your time studying and applying one book than quickly devouring five. Just our suggestion, but this has really worked for us! 

Second Hand Books 

In a world with technology growing every day, a lot of things or to be specific, services are migrating from being offline to online. It is said that an average of 62.07% of people across the world own mobile phones. This makes buying books easier for you can simply buy a second hand book online by a click of a button. 

Benefits of Buying Second Hand Books 

Saves you money that can be used in buying another second hand book 

You may wonder why people prefer buying second hand books online. Those days back in College, students would rather save a dollar or two for buying themselves a snack if they bought a second hand book. Second hand books are always cheaper and can save you a lot of money in the long run. For example, if you bought five second hand books, there might be a chance the money you have saved on each second hand book can sum up to buy another book. Interesting, isn’t it? 

Commuting to your local second hand books’ store may cost you a dime in the long run if you keep going back and forth to the store just to get yourself one more book. You can simply order several second hand books online and pay a cheaper shipping price compared to when you used to visit the store physically. The money saved can be used for many purposes like it can be used to buy your child who is a student some stationery. 

They also felt somewhat smooth than the hard feeling that comes with brand new books. Needless to say, that we count out brand new books due to their hardness; they are still awesome for they may last a little bit longer than second hand ones. 

Second hand books may have interesting writings from their previous owner 

While you are walking home with your friends, you may decide to visit one of the many local stores that sell second hand books to get one. While at the book store, you start flapping pages and boom, you bump into something hand written that goes “Tom owes me five dollars”. You laugh with your friends as you all get amazed at how people try to remind themselves of things. 

This means carrying this second hand book home will not only enrich you with the author’s story, but also interesting things from the previous owner who you have no idea about. You walk home that day trying to imagine how these random interesting strangers looked like, even wishing to meet them. Aparajita Mohapatra talks about the random strangers sharing their experiences, joy, sorrow and other emotions in second hand books. 

Getting a rough idea about a second hand book before reading it 

Don’t you think that trying to read a book’s review or scheming through it for a few minutes just to find out if it is interesting might not be fun? Some of the second hand books’ sellers usually go through a few of the second-books. One may ask the second hand book seller like, “Hey, have you got any insights about this?”. That way, you strike up a conversation and, in the end, you get to know if you are going to buy the second hand book or no. 

With all the benefits that come with second hand books, there remains one more problem that bothers almost all of us, time. You may ask yourself, “Well, how is buying second hand books at my local store wasting my time?”. 

Buying second hand books online saves you time 

Everyone values their time, but there is always lots of few minutes that get wasted in our day-to-day activities that can be saved, only if we knew the solution. This time is wasted once you decide to walk or drive to your local store just to get a second hand book. 

So, if you could just sit back at home, save that time for moving back and forth to the second hand books’ store and just place your order by clicking a button. The time you save may be used to read another second hand book as you wait for the one you ordered to be dropped.  

Fast books’ search options 

Buying second hand books online gives you the opportunity to go through a lot of books within a short period of time when trying to decide which book to purchase. One problem that one may have is going through each and every book ahead and try to scheme through to check if it is ideal for reading or no. But when you decide to buy a second hand book online, there you will get quite a good number of reviews from other people who have bought such books. 

The search option on an online store is a great tool for those people whose every second matters. You won’t have to walk around shelves and rearranging them after digging deep just to find your favorite book. Here, you simply type in the author or title of the book and in the next few minutes, you have it bought. You also have the freedom to filter through the books and check those books which have prices that favor you. 

Access to free borrowed second hand books 

Let’s be real, one is going to easily lend you a second hand book for you to read than a brand new one that cost him/her dearly. This is because he won’t be paranoid of you destroying his book, after all it is already old (Of course not a dusty one). Within your lifetime, you will be able to have read at least five books that you borrowed a friend, that is if you are a book lover like me. Not to forget that flapping the pages of a second hand books is way more comfortable than those of new ones. 

Some of my friends like seeing their shelf at home full of books and they feel that dopamine release just because they feel they are a little bit more knowledgeable. Buying second hand books in stock will make it way cheaper. A single second hand book is cheaper than a new one. Imagine if you bought a good number of them online at a discount, you will save yourself lots of money. 

Customer satisfaction 

With all the benefits that come with buying second hand books online, you may ask yourself something that goes, “But I cannot check the quality of the book?”. Well, most of online stores care for customer satisfaction and would rather sell to you books that are still brandy. Most people are not willing to do business while providing low quality services to their customers. The online stores also have customer care contact where you can send them an email or call them if you may have received a low-quality book of which it is in a rare occasion. This can be done any time you feel like, do not get bothered by having to go physically to peacefully confront someone. 

You may also say that the second hand books may come with missing pages. This is also on rare occasions for the books are well checked by the online store staff before being packaged for dropping at your doorstep. 


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