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How To Read A Book Fast And Understand It

I was able to read a hardcopy book in 3hours and understood every bit of it. I also share some lessons from it.

Reading a book has been such a chore with my current schedule. One will think that working from home affords you more time but, the contrary is the case. I find myself moving from my laptop to my multiple phones. The only time I am reading a book is when I am trying to get through the scribblings on my notes. And oh if it is an ebook that helps with my personal development. This is in addition to keeping up with my finances as I shared at the beginning of the year. It is in that spirit, that I finally read a hard copy book on money by Akin Alabi in 3hours. I understand that personal development is key especially now and reading forms the core of that. This is why I am sharing how to read a book fast and understand it. As proof that it works, I included lessons that I learnt from the book.

About the book

A copy of the book, small business, big money by Akin Alabi

Shot by Oma Ehiri

Let me start by introducing you to the book by Akin Alabi. The title is Small Business, Big Money. Like the name implies, it takes you through the process of starting a small business to the point where it begins to generate a lot of money. For those who do not know, Akin Alabi is the founder of Nigeria’s premier sports betting website, He is also a legislator in Lagos State. For those who do not live in Nigeria, legislators are our lawmakers and Lagos State is one of the states that makes up the South Western states of Nigeria. It is the NewYork of Nigeria. The book contains 7 chapters and about 208 pages with the chapters taking up about 177 pages. In my opinion, I will consider the font size to be about 14.

How To Read A Book Fast And Understand It (My Experiment)

It all started with my phone being on 20%. My laptop battery had long died, my modem was on red and my power bank had packed up. I checked the time and it was about 6pm which meant that, if I was going into work, I should be heading home now. I decided not to turn on the generator and instead, read a hardcopy book. My mini library with less than 20 books still had books I haven’t read and some that I need to go through again. Deciding which to read was pretty easy as Akin Alabi is constantly on my timeline and he was recently talking about publishing a second book. Secondly, he recently tweeted this:

The most compelling force was the need to re-strategise after getting over my initial marketing block for my business. I had some ideas on how to scale up and I thought, why not find out what this man had to say.

The steps

When I started, I read chapter one reading out loud as though I had an audience listening to me read. I definitely got a bit theatrical with my reading until the end of Chapter 3. Then I lost light and turned on my phone light to continue reading. By Chapter 4, I was beginning to skim read, leaving out some repetitions that he made for the sake of emphasis. Thankfully, the words on the book were bold with headings. That made it a lot easier to tell what that paragraph was all about. If I left out a paragraph and read the next only to feel that I needed to get some back story from the previous paragraph, I always went back.

As I read, I made sure to take notes on my phone. I only took notes that applied to why I was reading the book in the first place or if I discovered a new word. Having a goal in hindsight is how you read a book fast and understand it.

By the time I turned on the generator, I was already deep into the book and determined to finish reading before doing anything else. At that point, I made a mental reward for myself which was to share my progress, implement the lessons learnt and also share my little win with you. That was how I finished reading in 3 hours and I bet you, I understood the crux of the book.

In summary, here is a list of how to read a book fast and understand it;

  • Shut down all distractions
  • Pick a book based on a need that you have
  • Readout loud as though you have an audience
  • Take notes as you read in a phone or in a diary
  • Pay attention to the bold headings that summarises each paragraph
  • Be determined to finish
  • Set a reward for yourself

I have created a checklist to help you as well as the marketing lessons I learnt from this book. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, here are a few things I got from the book.

Lessons and New Words from Small Business Big Money

  1. A derby is a match between two rival clubs from the same city
  2. There is a difference between a business and an opportunity
  3. Find your customers before starting a business
  4. Add a new feature to make your business outstanding from the rest
  5. Make guarantees.

The checklist does not tell you what is in the book as you need to read it to get that. Rather, it tells you of my understanding and I think you can apply it too. Interested, get it here!

I am excited that I finished reading my 2nd hard copy book of the year. The first took me quite some time but I found time while commuting from home to work. I intend to take up the 3rd read by spending 3 hours of my evenings reading.

an e-book on blogging

Speaking of books, my e-book on Blogging: A Digital Tool for Establishing Your Online Presence is now complete. I am currently at the editing stage and in a few days, it will be sent out. If you haven’t booked a copy yet, click here because it is the cheapest it will ever be. I promise that after reading, you will be able to launch a blog, create an editorial calendar, revamp your old blog posts, learn how to approach bloggers and get the best out of blogging. Book your copy today here.


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