How to Apply the Pareto Principle to Reading a Book

If you are not a fan of speed reading, do you know that 80% of the value in a book can be gleaned from 20% of its content?

pareto principle and readding a book

Curious as to how to accomplish this? Follow the instructions below and give it a try and let me know how it went.

  1. Read the first and last paragraph of each chapter
  2. Also read the first sentence of each paragraph in that chapter
  3. The result to expect is that you will understand 80% of the message in the book.

Never heard of the Pareto Principle? Below is the definition from the Investopedia website.

What is the ‘Pareto Principle’
The Pareto principle is a principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes. Also referred to as the “Pareto rule” or the “80/20 rule”.
~Investopedia.com

Since I have discovered the Pareto Principle I enjoy looking at the world around me to see the principle in action.

  • The discrepancies between the first and third world
  • The clothes in your closet, you will find that you mainly wear 20% of your clothes
  • Investing money, there are those 20% of your investments that give you the biggest returns
  • 20% sales people generate 80% of the total sales
  • A store knows that 80% of their sales come from 20% of their customers
  • For a marketer it is important to establish a way to identify the 20% potential clients who will be the ones who will bring in 80% of your income.

For more information about the Pareto Principle check out the following articles and books.

Pareto Articles

Pareto Books


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