Have you picked up a book that was making it hard to understand each page and left you with tremendous knowledge right after you finished it? These are the kind of books that pushes you to become a better version of yourself and the type of books leaders read.
Becoming better than an average person requires you to consume the knowledge that not everyone is ready to take and that’s why they are called “above average.” Just like how the workout isn’t easy but expands your muscles to be better, high-level books put tension and weight on your brain to improve your intelligence.
Here’s how to find high-level books to improve Intelligence.
Benefits of Reading High-level Books
Can Improve Problem-Solving
Books have the potential to strengthen fluid intelligence which is used to boost up a person’s problem-solving and detecting meaningful patterns. Considering how you will now be reading about countless problems and their solutions, it will help readers engage with the stories and understand their situations to apply throughout your life.
Although reading high-level books (spoiler alert: I’ll get into that later) can go the extra mile to increase its effectiveness, simply grabbing fiction books can also have magical effects on your brain.
2. Elevate Senses
Have you ever wondered why you are able to master a particular skill just by reading about it?
This is because reading can elevate the control movement and sensation. In fact, a study in 2013 on Brain Connectivity showed that reading can have a significant impact on your sensory-motor. This means if you read about a particular topic, it can trigger those areas in the brain to have a physical effect on your body.
For instance, if you are reading about baking, it can stimulate the creative side of the brain and intensity the activity in those regions. This greater content can help you ace anything you want in life and gives you the freedom to live life on your own terms.
Also read: The 7 Best Baking Cookbooks to Read in 2021
3. Critical thinking
Whether you are a curious thinker or a history buff, there is always a myriad of books available to help you increase emotional intelligence and dive into the creative work of industry professionals to help gain insights into their lives and improve critical thinking. Remember there is never a wrong choice of books. Any book can open your mind to unmatched possibilities and understanding to improve intelligence.
How to Improve Intelligence with Books
Don’t Rush for the Knowledge
A common mistake many readers make while aiming to gain knowledge through reading is to rush to make sense of the book. The first 50 pages aren’t usually easy nor are they meant to be easy. Therefore, instead of giving up in the first few pages and trying hard to consume knowledge, focus on what is already happening and identify yourself with the clues that can lead to the climax.
2. Read the Reviews
The key to gaining intelligence with books is to stick till the end, regardless of how “boring” or difficult it is. To help you in this journey, read book reviews that will make sure you already have a general idea about the book before you dive in headfirst. Besides that, as you will now be warned of the upcoming challenges, you are likely to appreciate them even more as they unfold throughout the story.
3. Read the Intro/Prologue And Notes
Okay, I get it, you didn’t see that coming and reading 200-page books that only contain 80 pages of introduction can take 2 days for an average reader to read. However, this is where most of the knowledge lies.
The purpose of reading is to gain information. Now whether it is real or fiction, every thought that is put into paper has something unique to offer to us and that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Every time you skip through a single page you are missing out on valuable information that can not only enhance your book reading experience but ensure to leave you with the process that went behind bringing that book over to you as well.
4. Look It Up
If you are reading with the sole purpose of improving intelligence, I’m sure you will come across words that you haven’t read before.
Now think about, how many times have you pretended to never read it and carried on with your reading? This way you leave lots of opportunities on the table to explore and expand your mind.
A great example of that could be when you look up words or even concepts on sites like Wikipedia, it makes it easier to understand the books that were once difficult to read. If improving vocabulary is your aim, start by making a list of all the unfamiliar words and practice them every day to not only expand your vocabulary but improve memory too.
Also read: How to improve memory through reading
5. Apply and Use
Regardless of how many books you read, none of that would be effective unless you apply what you read. This means reading 5 books a year and making use of each book is better than reading 100 books a year and forgetting about it the next year.
So how can you do that?
Highlight or take screenshots ( if you are reading an ebook) of the important key points, quotes, or your favorite sentences from the book. You certainly don’t have to memorize them. Simply getting the concept clear and letting the book settle in your subconscious mind is just enough to do the trick. After that, drop them in the conversation. Allude to them in emails, business ideas, letters, and your daily life.
This can act as a fruit that fuels you up when you are lacking motivation or seeking direction. When we hunt out useful pieces of information from philosophers, we become obligated to spread it out in the world and make use of it every day. Now whether you are adding that to Wikipedia or using the tragic stories to solve your own problems, this can give a BIG hand in helping you improve intelligence.
Also read: How to Effectively Read During Lockdown
This brings us to the next question, do you efficiently apply and remember what you read?
How to Apply and Remember What you Read
Align the material you read with your goals
You have a goal, find every book you can on that topic to master it. Now that you know reading can trigger those senses to help improve your work in general. If you are aiming to learn investing this year, choose a few leading leaders and read all the books they recommend. If it’s art, do the same.
To help go in-depth with each topic it’s best if you break down your new goal into a few milestones which can be achieved on a monthly basis. For example, if you want to learn to cook, pick up books, audiobooks, and ebooks on learning the fundamentals for the first month and gradually add more advanced cookbooks into your reading list to completely devour yourself in it.
If not a new hobby, you can reflect on qualities you lack and start reading self-help books to become the best version of yourself. This includes books that help you socialize, become a good listener, ace an exam, or perhaps an interview.
Become an active reader instead of a passive one
Have you ever read a book only to forget about it the minute you finish it? If yes, you are a passive reader. This is because passive readers have a lower reading quality which makes them forget things as quickly as they read them. Whereas active readers not only retain the information read but effectively apply it too.
Therefore, if you are a passive reader, there isn’t much difference if you read 8 books a month or 1. Successful readers develop a specific reading habit which helps to:
- Improve reading comprehension
- Greater concentration
- More efficient reading
Active reading can be done by highlighting the text, seeking answers to the questions you had prior to picking up the book, and mentally summarising what you read after reading for the day.
Also read: How to Be an Active Reader
Introducing the Feynman Technique
The Feynman Technique is a mental model which is named after the Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist, Richard Feynman. In his technique, he helps you simplify learning and creating a strategy to streamline the process of better comprehension. The best part, the technique only involves three steps:
- Thoroughly read the information
- Note down the complex concepts, words, or phrases in a simpler language that will help a beginner understand the idea
- After a few months, refer back to the information written, if you feel stuck on a particular concept, you didn’t completely understand.
Best High-Level Books to Read That Increases Intelligence
Art of War by Sun Tzu
Art of War has been around since the 5th century BC. It is one of the most famous strategies ever written to influence powerful leaders thoroughly in history where an ancient military treatise talks about the principles of warfare. It was first translated in the late 1700s by a French Missionary and has been the guide for business people to help resolve conflicts, human interactions, and competitions.
2. The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie
Need to learn about complex concepts in a simple language? This book by Judea Pearl is your way to go. In the book, the Award-winning computer scientist and statistician explains his study on “Why ” simple things happen and answers to the questions you have never asked before. Starting from simple questions like whether it is the rain or the sprinkler that wet the sidewalk to more difficult ones on how to answer hard questions like whether a drug can cure illnesses.
He uses simple language to help you study a myriad of subjects without feeling overwhelmed at the end of the book.
3. Wealth of Nations
Publishes on 9th March 1776 during the Scottish Enlightenment and Agricultural Revolution, The Wealth of Nations is a collection of wisdom from all the authors, economists, and government bodies from the past. In the book, you get to see numerous concepts and their reviews on how they are being used to solve economic problems and how effectively they are doing it.
Although it has been written in the past, once you go through it you will get to release how much of it is still valid and a few issues that remain unsolved even till today. To be honest with you, the 950 pages of this book aren’t easy to read but with every chapter and page, you learn something completely out of the times you are living in now, expanding your knowledge and helping you think outside the box.
4. The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake by Steven Novella
In The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake, Dr. Steven Novella—along with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein talk about the modern issues of deception in the world to help you be more aware of the environment around you. The all-encompassing guide tackles and busts myths and conspiracy theories on bias and miscommunication to equip you with the necessary skills to handle problems. In the end, you can expect to be a better critical thinker, learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, and generate skills for sound reasoning.
5. Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought by Barbara Tversky
Following in the vein of Thinking, Fast and Slow, Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought is all about human cognition. Barbara effectively describes how we draw conclusions from our bodies and actions. It helps set your foundation and take a fresh look at human cognition and learn about spatial thinking. This way you will be able to play chess, navigate traffic and assemble the furniture by using your advanced critical thinking skills.
All in all, now it’s up to you. Books don’t just have the potential to fill time and entertain you. If used right, you can gain knowledge of the things you’ve never thought of before. Remember learning is a continuous process, so include a high-level book or two to the irregular reading list along with your regular fiction or nonfiction to help dilute the intense growth that you will gain from the books.