This little gem comes from Matt’s Idea Blog almost a year ago and helps me get through educational reading, particularly when I want to read a lot of books in a short time.
Naturally, because my goal is to learn, the reading involves work. But the question is: How can one read efficiently, capture relevant ideas in a usable way, and keep the process sustainable and enjoyable? The rest of my post summarizes the best solutions I’ve found, but the most useful technique comes from Jason Womack, and synthesizes nicely the most common ideas. In a nutshell, he says he reads the book four times:
1. Table of contents, glossary, index.
2. Anything in bold, titles, and subtitles.
3. First line of every paragraph.
4. Entire book
It’s a simple process. The first 3 steps should take around ten minutes [not much extra, hey?] and prepares your brain to take in the information. Because you’ve, essentially, already read the book three times, when you do finally read it in it’s entirety the information becomes much easier to sink in.
Warning: Does not work for fiction.
How To Read A Lot Of Books In A Short Time – [MattsIdeaBlog]