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  • Mark Hallock

How To Read Hard Books


Never stop reading hard books...it’s worth it! Here are 11 simple things I have learned (and am learning) over the years of reading many hard books:


1. Take your time and read slowly....this is not a race.


2. Read thoughtfully...make sure your mind is engaged as you read (if you are sleepy, it’s probably not a good time to read a hard book 😜).


3. Read prayerfully...talk to God and process with Him while you read and think.


4. Stop regularly and chew on what you just took in...hard books take more time to digest. Chew and savor each bite.


5. Be OK with just reading a paragraph or two if that is all you can “get down.” Again, it’s not a race.


6. Keep a dictionary handy to help you out...it’s OK if you don’t understand every “big” word. (I don’t care how many degrees you have, we should ALL be expanding our vocabulary constantly 👍)


7. Try to read a little bit everyday. Don’t let too much time pass between readings.


8. Highlight key phrases or sentences. If you don’t like to permanently mark up a book, use an old school pencil to underline (my personal preference).


9. If there is something you just don’t understand, call a friend, a teacher, a pastor, or someone else who can help you out! The goal is to understand the content you are reading, first and foremost.


10. Apply what you are reading. As you spend time in a hard book, regularly ask yourself: “how does this, or how should this, apply to my life?”


11. Enjoy it! Reading hard books is a gift that will often stretch you and grow you in ways nothing else can.


So, go for it! Read a hard book. Trust me, it WILL be hard, but it will be more than worth it.


For your growth!

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