Similar to my response when he asked me the same question, but I tried to talk a little about a couple more ways to see things through a real-life lens if he wasn't starting a business:
"Reading strategy (and business) books has always challenged me a bit. The fact that I get something different out of them every time I read them bothers me because it means I'm never really optimizing. Why didn't I see these ideas last time? I've started doing two things that have helped.
1) Take notes focusing on real world applications. Easier said than done, but there's no better way to read a strategy book than when you're in the midst of starting a business. It all comes to life. If you aren't starting a business, get creative. When I read the 48 Laws of Power, I wrote a fable about each one. When I read Playing to Win, I tried to think of another business that each of their lessons applied to. Taking notes makes this all much more effective, but I have a hard time sticking to it and often end up giving up part way through.
2) Talk about them. Last month, a couple other guys from the SETT community and I had a discussion about the 50th Law and it was awesome. Encourages you to write down interesting points to remember as you read and talking through the logic and applications makes the ideas so much more real. We're doing Hannibal and Me on the 26th of this month. Feel free to read it and join in."