You know how there are some things you do once, really enjoy, but have no intention of ever doing again? For me, that includes things like visiting Machu Picchu in Peru, snorkeling with Caribbean reef sharks, jumping off a telephone pole, and skydiving.
Books are usually like that, too. How often do you read a book more than once? It’s usually one and done (if you even finish it), because:
- It’s not interesting enough to read a second time
- It’s fiction and you already know how it ends
- It’s nonfiction and you got the message the first time
Some books are worth reading more than once, though. The message, the writer’s style, and the way the book makes you think and feel pull you back to it. Something about it speaks to you, and you want to reflect on it again.
The books I choose to revisit are short reads (under 200 pages) that help with my personal growth. There are some exceptions to the length…I’ve reread Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich and Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People more than once even though they are a bit longer. But I can think of no exceptions to the personal growth part. Following are some of my favorite self-help books.
Short Self-Help Books Worth a Second Read:
- As a Man Thinketh by James Allen – Shows how our thoughts shape our circumstances in life.
- Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach – Reveals that our view of reality may limit us.
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – Provides four deceptively simple agreements that lead to personal freedom.
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – Challenges us to fight through all forms of resistance that keep us from doing our work and creating fulfilling lives.
- The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – Invites us to free ourselves from the incessant chatter in our heads and to more consciously live our lives.
I return to these five titles when I am seeking inspiration and highly recommend them for your read-reflect-repeat list.