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Reading Better - Farnam Street

Reading Better - Farnam Street

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How to get the most out of your reading

One of the benefits of reading is that you can master the best of what other people discovered.

But it is only true if you can actually remember and apply the lessons and insights you read.

You will instantly know if you picked up a good book. It is well written, packed with ideas and insights and is well organised. Naturally, you will want to read the next page.

Good books finish themselves. Trying to finish a bad book is a grind. Instead, skim a lot ...

Levels of reading

Reading the words on a page or screen is the easy part. The problem is that this is often the only way we learn to read.

There are different approaches to reading. 

  1. Reading to entertain. This is what we are taught in elementary school.

If you want to improve what you get out of reading, you have to choose great books.

There are only a few new books that might prove valuable, but most will be forgotten. So instead, let time filter the good books. Find the books that stood the test of time....

Taking notes - The blank sheet

The best way to get more out of books is by taking notes with the blank sheet method.

  • Before reading a book, write down what you know about the subject using a mind map.
  • When you finish a reading session, add to the map with a different colour....

Conventional notes

Write in the margins of your book. You bought it. It's your property.

  • At the end of each chapter, write a pointed summary of the main chapter. Then, try to connect it to something in your life, such as a memory or other idea.
  • When you're done with the book, pac...

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What you read can give you access to untold knowledge. But how you read changes the trajectory of your life.

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