How to Read Self-Help Books Effectively

Jentri Fule

July 20 , 2021

How to Read Self-Help Books Effectively

Do you want to read self-help books? You're already on the right track. Reading self-help books will put you on the path to improving your life without having to ask others for help. With self-help books, you can either find meaning in your life again or interpret yourself and the world more positively.

Today, there are plenty of self-help books for women and men alike. It’s also easy to find self-help books for sale in the Philippines, be it online or your favorite local bookstore. While the best self-help books can inspire you to make better choices and expand your worldview, sometimes you need a bit of practice to fully internalize the advice they give.

In this article, we outline tips on how to read self-help books so you experience true, effective growth.


Read with your own life in mind

When reading even the most popular self-help books, the first thing to keep in mind is how the book can help with your life. Otherwise, you will fill your head with the author's own anecdotes and tips that aren't applicable to your own situation. If you focus on information you can't actually apply in your life, you're just wasting your time.

It's like reading a book on how to ace a job interview while you have a steady and secure job that you love. While you can read it, it's better to read a self-help book that you could use to improve the current state of your life.


Take it slow

Unlike fiction books, self-help books aren't reading materials where you can skip a boring conversation or filler scenes to rush through the riveting climax.

In self-help books, if you gloss over pages, you're going to miss out on important action steps or thought-provoking advice. Read every sentence. Let each section sink in a little before you move on to the next part, especially if there's a certain phrase or quote that's caught your attention.


Jot important things down in a notebook

Should you take notes when reading self-help books? Yes, absolutely. For self-help bookworms, this is absolutely essential. Put in post-its, highlight, scribble in margins, or write down important tips in a handy notebook. If you have to read self-help books like you're doing homework, do so.

Remember, there's a gap between the writer's helpful advice and the practice use of the written words in your daily life. You can bridge the two through vigilant note-taking. Doing so helps you apply the information immediately. It ensures a more concrete and overall better understanding of what you're reading.


Try the assignments in the book

Often, the best self-help books come with tips and assignments. Try doing them! Seriously. The author wrote them down for a good reason and not just to add the total word count.

Of course, you can't do everything at once. So, after you've read the tips or as you're reading them, make a list of the things that would make the most impact on your life. You can make a mental list but it would be better to write them down on paper. By selecting the most impactful tips and advice, you can take immediate action and try out if they'll help improve your life.



Okay, here's the real punch line: just because a smart and renowned person wrote it down doesn't automatically mean it's a universal truth. In other words, the pieces of advice and tips you gather from popular self-help books might not work as well for you as they do for someone else.

If the tips are effective and you're reaping benefits, continue reading. If they don't work, you can either try tweaking them to accommodate your specific needs or simply stop and start reading something else. It's all about evaluating and determining what's best for you and since you know yourself best, the decision rests in your hands.


Find the best self-help books at

Many are trapped in a cycle of reading self-help books without finding the true meaning behind the written words. Don't follow the same path. By engaging with the material and following the tips above on how to read self-help books, you can set yourself for true, effective growth.

To get you started on your journey to self-improvement, browse through our virtual shelves at! We’ve got the best self-help books to help you enhance your skills, meditate on your life, or simply excel in being the best version of yourself.