Reading a book is also self improvement and personal development or to be more precise, reading the book alone is not really self improvement, but reading the book, and applying what you learn is. To illustrate my point lets talk about something very generic, if you read a book on lets say programming a webpage, it will perhaps help you understand how the programmer makes the web-pages, but the actual page you want to make, will not exist before you start programming it.
And similarly the improvement of yourself will not occur just from reading a lot of books, but by applying what you learn in those books it will!
A large number of people read a lot of self improvement books, or maybe I should say a lot of beginnings of self improvement books, but not that many actually finish the books, and even fewer start applying the ideas or exercises they are presented with in the books. While they may like the book and the suggestions in it, most people have a short attention span, and before they get around to applying the new information, their eyes gets caught by another great book, or something entirely different, and they quickly move on without getting any really life altering benefits from it.
The secret behind good self improvement and personal development is that when you find something you think might benefit you, you look further into the subject, either by buying and reading a book about it, or finding information on the subject elsewhere, and finally applying the information in your own life and thereby creating the improvements you desire.
Remember it is always good to learn new things from reading a good book on the subject, but the information has to be put to good use if you really wish to benefit from it.
Even Faster Self Improvement Is Possible
If you have interest in speeding up your self improvement even further, perhaps you should consider looking into self hypnosis or meditation. Meditation is good for the soul and helps creating an inner calm, while self hypnosis is a very useful tool for implementing changes in your behaviour.
In order to get any benefits from either of these methods you will have to be consistent in using and or applying them in your life. Regular use of meditation or self hypnosis will strengthen what ever have gone before it so to speak. Actually it is like with every new thing, in the beginning it is not so easy, and it takes some effort both to apply it, and to stay with the programme, but after a while, it more or less becomes automatic or second nature to you, and that is when you will start to really notice the benefits.
If you are interested in learning meditation I would recommend you look for a personal teacher, as you will be playing around with the powers of your own psyche and as you immerse deeper into the techniques you might be stirring up old emotions that can be difficult to tackle on your own.
A trained meditation teacher will be aware that these things happen in advance, and is equipped to handle the emotions and explain to you how to deal with them.
On the other hand if you want to learn self hypnosis for self improvement you could easily make good progress from the home study course I recommend at my website. Actually self improvement by self hypnosis is a very powerful tool, and if you have access to one, I recommend you put it to good use, remember though, buying, and reading the material is not enough, you must apply the information too.