Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Don’t Read Books (scan them)

I just read the book Effortless Reading: The Simple Way to Read and Guarantee Remarkable Results which has some great points on how to read books. The traditional way most people read is from cover to cover. This actually is not an effective way to read. One won’t retain that much more information than one who just scans for the major points in the book, especially after some time as passed. Reading each and every word takes a significantly longer time. What we really need is the right amount of information at the right time. It really depends one what you are seeking; you should be reading with a purpose. If you aren’t looking for a specific question you should probably do a scan of the book (just reading the chapter titles and maybe the first sentences of the chapters you are interested in) and answer any questions that come up, stopping right when you get what you are looking for. If you decide later that you need deeper level knowledge you can do another pass to seek the information that you need.

This is how Tai Lopez (watch his TED talk) “reads" something like 5000 books a year. Last year personally I read 26 books - mostly every single word. I’ll try it differently this year and focus on reading with a purpose.

Note: that this probably doesn’t apply to many styles of books. I’ve always done this for technical books because usually they get so in-depth pointless at times. This scanning technique works really well for autobiographies and self help but not for novels