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By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a framework for reading at different levels that you can apply right away.
How We Learn To Read
I bet you already know how to read a book. You were taught in elementary school.
But do you know how to read well?
There is a difference between reading for understanding and reading for information.
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to how you read. And how you read makes a massive difference to knowledge accumulation.
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Reading is all about asking the right questions in the right order and seeking answers.
There are four main questions you need to ask of every book:
This is also known as comparative reading, and it represents the most demanding and difficult reading of all. 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 pa...
This is the level of reading taught in our elementary schools. If you’re reading this website, you already know how to do this.
We’ve been taught that skimming and superficial reading are bad for understanding. That is not necessarily the case. Using these tools effectively can increase understanding. Inspectional reading allows us to look at the author’s blueprint and evaluate the merits of a deeper reading experience.
Mortimer Adler literally wrote the book on reading. Adler identifies four levels of reading:
1. Elementary Reading
2. Inspectional Reading
3. Analytical Reading
4. Syntopical Reading
Francis Bacon once remarked, “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”
You can think of analytical reading as doing that chewing and digesting. This is doing the work. Analytical reading is a thorough reading. If inspectional reading is t...
“Marking a book is literally an experience of your
differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.”
The goal of reading determines how you read. Reading the latest Danielle Steel novel is not the same as reading Plato. If you’re reading for entertainment or information, you’re going to read a lot differently (and likely different material) than reading to increase understanding. While many peop...
From the land of origins | Book summaries
This book explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It's masterfully done.
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To allow for the hermeneutic circle to be effective, re-read the text a few times or at least read the parts that are most interesting to you.
Keep on considering the context as you re-read, particularly if the first reading gave you a better understanding of it.
There are a lot of times during the day when we can read a nice little chunk of narrative. Use your lunch break or bathroom break. You’ll be surprised how many reading opportunities there are in a given day, once you go looking for them.
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