Can you learn new skills just by reading books about it?
Reading books can be helpful when learning new skills, but you should not rely entirely on books. Most of the time, it’s more efficient to use books alongside other learning methods, depending on the skill of course.
Let’s take a closer look at whether you can actually learn skills from books, and what kinds of skills are better to learn from somewhere else.
Can you learn new skills just by reading books?
Books are great sources of information and can give you pretty good basic knowledge on any given topic.
Some skills can be learned to a higher level just from books, such as marketing or a new language. However, in both of these cases as well, it’s good to put that new knowledge into actual use to make learning more efficient.
Other skills where you do more physical work can be learned better by doing or watching instructional videos, such as construction or a sport.
You can get really valuable information for both constructions and for a sport for a book as well. However, that information typically requires some previous knowledge about the topic being learned more comprehensively.
Therefore, books can be used to learn or perfect certain skills you might already have, or are willing to learn. You should still not completely rely on the information found in books, but use books as one tool of your learning experience.
What skills can you learn from reading books?
There are a lot of skills that you can learn basically entirely from books. Even though you probably should not rely entirely on books to make learning more efficient, the following skills can be learned pretty well just by reading books.
- A new language
- Critical thinking
As I already mentioned, you probably won’t become a master of marketing or biology just by reading books about the topic. To maximize your learning efficiency, combine books with real-world training that fits the skill at hand.
There are probably a lot more skills than what I listed, that you can learn the basics of from books. Also, there are a lot of subtopics of each skill that you might want to specialize in.
The skills listed above are from the easier end of the spectrum, where you can actually learn more about by reading about them. There are also skills like construction and different sports, that require physical practice, more than books about the topic. That leads us to the next topic:
What skills can not be learned from books
There are a lot of skills that can not be learned from books without any real-life experience.
As I mentioned before, combining books with real-world practice can make your learning so much more efficient, compared to just sticking to one.
Here are some of the skills that can be really difficult to start learning just from books:
- Martial arts
- Communication skills
- Computer skills
- Car repairing
Books can also be a great way to perfect your skills in some area of expertise. For example, if you are a construction worker with some basic knowledge already, you might get a lot of value from books that go more in-depth about different construction materials and techniques.
For someone with little to no experience in construction, books like that can go way over their head. They would not get much useful information, since they have no previous basic knowledge about the topic.
It would be really difficult to explain how nuclear reactors work to someone, who has no basic knowledge of physics.
In conclusion, learning skills from books can differ a lot, depending on the skill at hand. Some skills are a lot easier to teach in written form, such as marketing or a new language.
Other skills such as construction take more hands-on-doing to learn the skill, but you can still get value from books, as long as you have first learned the basics of the trade.
Combining skills with hands-on doing and other ways to learn is likely the most efficient way to learn a new skill, no matter what.
Hopefully, this can encourage you to start reading more books about a topic that can perfect your skills in certain fields of knowledge. If so, I do have a post that goes through how to set good and realistic reading goals.
If reading is not your piece of cake, here is a post about alternative ways to gain knowledge, other than reading books.
I hope this was helpful, have a wonderful day!