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Reading books is one of the most important requirement to be successful. Of course, there must be few who made it to the top without reading a single book but that’s my friend is an anomaly, exception to the rule and you don’t formulate a plan around anomalies.

If you want to be successful at anything you want, you have to read books. You have to be an intentional reader even if you don’t like reading.

The art of choosing what books to read is an important tool that one should master to be successful. There is nothing worse than wasting time on a terrible book that adds no value to your life or business. I know a lot of people go for books that are entertaining. Entertainment should not be the criteria if you want to be successful. You don’t need entertainment, what you need is knowledge, an inspiration to improve your skill set. 50 Shades of Grey should not be your pick even if you’re looking to master the art of BDSM. I am pretty sure that if you want to invest in that skill, a lot of better books are available in the market on the subject.

Let me introduce you to below four criteria that will help you to pick the right book for your personal library.

AUTHOR

If I may draw a parallel, an author is more like an actor or a director of a movie. I mean, if I know that Leonardo DiCaprio is starring in a movie or Cristopher Nolan is associated with a movie, I’ll definitely watch the movie. Similarly, authors like Jim Rohn, Joe Pulizzi, Robert Greene are the ones I go for when it comes to books.

For example, if you want to improve your investment skills, you should read everything on and by Warren Buffet.  Jim Rohn’s books are to look for if you’re looking for some life changing skills or motivation.

Follow the good authors that write about the areas of your interest.

SUBJECT

It is the most important criteria for choosing a book. The topic of the book impacts the reader directly. If you’re a sales guy then you should read everything available on real sales. If you’re into real estate business, read every book available in the market about the topic. This is true for every skill be it entrepreneurship, marketing, cooking, arts…in short anything.

Master the skill.

A successful individual master his skill by absorbing all the knowledge available. Go read everything about your area of interest.

REVIEWS

Good reviews spread like fire. A lot of people read Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code because of their reviews. Authors were not that popular but their books were a huge hit. Similarly, there are many forums and trend observing websites that you can check to get the idea about books on the subject that focus on the skill set of your interest.

RECOMMENDATION

It is very important to know who is recommending the book. Someone, who hasn’t read the book himself but tell you to read it because he feels it’s a good fit for you is exactly the kind of person you should stay away from.

On the other hand, if an avid reader who understands you and your weakness areas like your mentor or an expert in the subject recommends you a book, you should read it without second-guessing it.

For example, if your Manager wants to read you a book on a subject of leadership skills, you should go for it because he works with you on a daily basis and he understands what area in your leadership style need to be work on.

If you’re not choosing the books based on above criteria and just reading anything then my friend it’s time to change and become a good reader. Hopefully, this article will help you to take that journey. Remember, there is a lot of wisdom available in this world in the form of books that can make you successful in life.

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