Prescriptive vs. Descriptive Reading

Bob FranquizGeneral

I get asked a lot of questions about my reading habits, I'll give you one that has been extremely helpful for me: I don't read books simply to gather everything that a book has to say.  Instead, I'm trying to find the message that the book is trying to teach me.  

Descriptive reading is when I read a book about leadership and the writer explains what he or she has done to make them a better leader.  

Prescriptive reading is when you read the same book and ask the question, "What is this person trying to teach me and how can I apply it to my situation right now?"  

Lots of guys read books, but never gain insights that could help them get to the next level.  That's because they're only reading descriptively.  

Some may say it's simply nomenclature.  I say it's the difference between squid and calamari. You only get real value out of a book if it teaches you something and causes you to act.