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This is all about identifying and filling in your knowledge gaps.
There are five steps to syntopical reading:
1. Finding the Relevant Passages — You need to find the right books and then the passages that are most relevant to filling your needs. So the first step is an inspectional reading of all the works that you have identified as relevant.
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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.”
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:
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.
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...
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?
This is the level of reading taught in our elementary schools. If you’re reading this website, you already know how to do this.
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...
• Book summaries, mostly •
This book explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It's masterfully done.
MORE LIKE THIS
There are 5 steps to syntopical 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 issu...
Areas where you struggle in Step 1 are the points where you have some gaps in your understanding.
Identifying gaps in your knowledge—where you forget something important, aren’t able to explain it, or simply have trouble thinking of how variables interact—is a critical part of the learning pro...
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