Business books can be broken down into four categories:
Highly researched and informative
Celebrities endorsed business books are those written in the name of or for celebrity entrepreneur such as Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Robert Kiyosaki. In most cases these books do not have an eye catching title because what sells is the name of the individual. This is why if you notice, their names fill the entire cover and the titles of the books are written in small prints.
These ones are also divided into three categories:
1. The one written by the celebrity himself when he was not a celebrity, which are usually really good because at that time they were trying to make their names therefore had to produce great content.
2. The ones they wrote when they were already successful which in most cases are not that good. They contain all the usual I did it so you can do it mumbo-jumbo completely removed from reality.
3. The ones written in their names by some smart person who understands the power of a name. In most instances these ones are also not that good because the celebrity never takes the time to read the manuscript, he never knows what is written in his name.
Highly Researched and Informative:
Highly researched and informative business books are books written mostly by academics or business journalist based upon solid research. They are usually well written in academic or journalistic style and languages and they can be really informative. Examples of these types of books are:
- Good to Great by Jim Collins,
- Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras,
- Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne and Value Pricing by Ron Baker.
These are really good books which are very informative and they divulge lots of great information. The only problem with these types of books is they are very complex to comprehend. Even if you read them five or ten times and get to understand the principles; implementing the information in them in your business is difficult. This is because even though they reveal best practices, they do not teach you how to implement those best practices in your business. Like typical intellectuals the writers know their stuff however they do not know how to implement them, therefore cannot show someone else how to implement their ideas.
Me too business books are written by want-to-be experts, who just write books just to be able to say I have written a book. In most cases there are no substances to their books and they do not reveal anything. Their goal for writing books is not to provide information but simple to say, I have written a book on this subject therefore I am an expert.
Effective strategies business books are those written for the purpose of providing information and showing readers how to implement that information in their businesses. Like the highly researched and informative, they provide really good content. The difference between the Highly researched and informative and the Effective strategies is that, the Effective strategies show readers how to implement their theories and ideas.
These are usually written by sophisticated marketing experts who might be expert in their field and also good marketers. As a result of their expertise in their field, they understand the subject matter. But because they are also experts in marketing, they know how to present information in a way that it is quickly assimilated.
How to Benefit from Reading a Business Book:
To be able to derive the maximum benefit from reading a business book, you need to firstly identify your goal for reading the book. For example if you were travelling from London to New York and you needed a book to wear away time on the flight or you were going for a sales meeting and you needed motivation, then I will recommend the Celebrities endorsed business books. Those are written for the sole purpose of motivation.
If your objective for reading a business book is to gain knowledge to implement in your business, I will recommend the combination of the Highly researched and informative business books and the Effective strategies business books. You could read the Effective strategies business books and gain tones of information that can be implemented in your business. However, if you needed complete knowledge base, you will do well reading the two sets of books.
One last piece of advice, if you want to speed read to be able to go through a lot of information within a short time frame, I will recommend that you adopt the following strategies:
Ignore 80 percent of all information in any book you read because it is useless to you
Read the table of contents, preface, introduction and summary first
Breeze through the book with lightning speed
It is only after you have taken the above three steps that you can start reading the book. Reading the contents, preface, introduction and summary would give you an idea of what the book is about. When you scan through it with lightning speed, you familiarise yourself with most of the contents. By the time you really start reading the book, you would have absorbed about 50 percent of the information that will be useful to you.