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There is a difference between reading for understanding and reading for information. Anything easily digested is reading for information. The regurgitation of facts without solid understanding and context gains you little in the real world. Learning something insightful requires mental work. It’s uncomfortable. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not learning. You need to find writers who are more knowledgeable on a particular subject than yourself.
Mortimer Adler literally wrote the book on reading. Adler identifies four levels of reading:
They are thought of as levels because you can’t move to a higher level without a firm understanding of the previous one — they are cumulative.
Inspectional reading allows us to look at the author’s blueprint. There are two sub-types of inspectional reading:
There are four rules to Analytical Reading:
Syntopical Reading involves reading many books on the same subject and comparing and contrasting ideas, vocabulary, and arguments.
This task is undertaken by identifying relevant passages, translating the terminology, framing and ordering the questions that need answering, defining the issues, and having a conversation with the responses.
The goal is not to achieve an overall understanding of any particular book, but rather to understand the subject and develop a deep fluency.
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Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
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