How do you decide if a book is a valuable read?

I believe that there are two value exchanges when it comes to books, but I only use one of them to determine if a book is valuable or not.

If you want to know what that is, read on.

Value exchange

First things first, I think it’s important to clarify exactly what a value exchange is.

In the most basic sense, a value exchange is swapping one thing for another. And in a fair exchange, both of those things should be of equal value.

A value exchange that we do all the time is when we make a purchase – trading money for a product or service.

Other examples include trading skills and/or time. For example, you may fix a door for someone, and in return, they will fix your refrigerator. (I know they’re shit examples, but it’s all I could think of, but you get the gist.)

When buying a book, people think that they are exchanging their money for knowledge. And in a way, yes, they are correct.

But for me, that’s too simplistic.

Instead, I have broken down the purchase of a book into two value exchanges – but only one of them really matters.

The first value exchange

The first value exchange is made when I visit Amazon. (I buy all of my books off Amazon so I am using that as an example, but you can buy the book from anywhere.)

In my opinion, I am not buying knowledge.

Instead, I believe that the money I spend covers the cost of printing – the pages and the ink – along with the delivery.

I don’t see it as ‘buying knowledge’ because when the book arrives at my house I am not any more knowledgeable about whatever subject that book is based upon.

The REAL value exchange

In order to get full value out of a book, you need to READ it!

Reading a book is a huge time investment, taking multiple hours to complete, usually over several days.

Therefore, the real value exchange is how much time do you have to invest in reading a book, compared to how much practical and helpful knowledge do you get out of it.

At a bare minimum, these two factors should be equal and they should balance.

A crap book will give you little to no knowledge, but take hours from your life.

A highly valuable book will give you bucket-loads of knowledge, but only require a few hours of your time.

Time versus money

It’s no contest that time is more valuable than money.

The price you pay for a book is almost irrelevant. The real cost of a book is how much time do you have to invest in it.

The time that you invest in reading a book is time you can’t spend on anything else.

With this in mind, it’s therefore imperative that the books you choose to read are worthy of the time that you’re going to invest in them.

If you want my recommendations of which books I believe are valuable, then please feel free to peruse the rest of my blog, and don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel

Your thoughts

Every time I read a book I calculate its value based on the time it takes for me to read it, and the quality of information and knowledge I get out of it.

What are your thoughts on this value equation? Do you think it is a fair way to review a book? Let me know in the comments below.

Roseanna x 

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Currently winging my way through life and putting most of it on the internet. This is my personal website where I share my business book reviews, my adventure tips and stories, and my general musings on life as a solo entrepreneur.

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