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The Way You Read Books Says A Lot About Your Intelligence, Here's Why

Reading Hack 6: Read Books Like Magazines

Skipping a whole page, reading in 5-minute spurts or skimming to find the most interesting parts and then go deep and slow on those.

Reading books this way can be powerful on a few levels:

  • It helps to find the most important knowledge that’s worth going deep on.
  • It helps us slow down so we get the most from what we focus on.
  • It makes reading easier, as it fits well with the modern human’s diminished attention span, and it’s better than not reading.

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The Way You Read Books Says A Lot About Your Intelligence, Here's Why

The Way You Read Books Says A Lot About Your Intelligence, Here's Why

https://medium.com/accelerated-intelligence/the-way-you-read-books-says-a-lot-about-your-intelligence-find-out-why-c2127b00eb03

medium.com

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Key Ideas

Success And Buying Too Many Books

Many of us buy lots of books that go unread and causes us guilt, but that’s a habit that many successful people have they believe they are better off for it.

For those who actually put in the time to read and learn how to learn, a pile of unread books may actually be a sign of intelligence rather than the lack of it.

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

Patrick Collison, billionaire

“I maybe start half the books I get, and I probably finish a third of the books I start. And that works out to finishing 1–2 books per week.” 

Patrick Collison, billionaire

Reading Hack 1: View Books As An Experiment

It costs you money and time, but it may pay for itself by changing your life for the better. It’s an experiment. And the more “smart” experiments you perform, the more likely you are to find a breakthrough experiment that changes everything.

Inherent in being a good experimenter is being OK with the losses. Therefore, remember that every time you purchase a book that turns out to be a dud, you are just one step closer to a book that will change your life.

Reading Hack 2: Do Fractal Reading

The free metadata that books generate (i.e., author interviews, author presentations, book summaries, reviews, quotes, first and last chapters, etc.) is a condensed version of the book, like a fractal, and often just as valuable as the book itself.

This allows you to try more books before you buy them and know where in the books is the most relevant information. Therefore, each book buying “experiment” has better odds of succeeding.

Reading Hack 3: View Your Unread Books As A Reminder Of How Little You Know

Intellectual humility gives us a more realistic conception of ourselves and our place in the world, helping us conduct our lives more effectively and harmoniously.

Successfully navigating day-to-day experience mostly requires what we already know, that makes us believe we know more than we actually do, that we have life figured out. Having lots of unread books is a reminder that this isn't true. Plus, unread books are more valuable than read ones and serve as a research tool.

Fractal Reading For Nonfiction Books

  • Read 2–3 book summaries (Google search). Most books have several summaries containing the best information in the book (the 20 percent of ideas that create 80 percent of value).
  • Listen to an author interview (podcast, Google). Interviews are engaging, and give you the author’s answers to the most pertinent questions gleaned from reading the book.
  • Watch an author presentation (TED, Google, or university talk). When an author is forced to whittle down a 200-page book into a 20-minute talk, they share their biggest idea and best story.
  • Read the most helpful 1-star, 2-star, 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star reviews (Amazon).
  • Read the first and last chapters of the book (Google Books, ebook free samples, and Amazon’s Look Inside). They often contain the most valuable content in it. 

Reading Hack 4: Abandon Good Books For Great Books

To make better use of your time, drop your current book if you find one that’s better, but be careful not to abandon it for one with a catchy title. Fractal Reading will help you discern when it’s time to change books.

“At every moment, you should be reading the best book you know of in the world [for you]. But as soon as you discover something that seems more interesting or more important, you should absolute...

“At every moment, you should be reading the best book you know of in the world [for you]. But as soon as you discover something that seems more interesting or more important, you should absolutely discard your current book … because any other algorithm necessarily results in your reading ‘worse’ stuff over time.”

Patrick Collison, billionaire

Reading Hack 5: Use Books To Create Space In Your Mind For Great Ideas To Collide

Strategically placed books can affect us consciously and unconsciously. They create a kind of idea space for you that makes productive collisions more likely to happen.

You buy books because there is potentially important information in them, but you leave them unread because some key drive is missing, like information, time or need. When you remind yourself you own an unread book you keep open the possibility to read it when you stumble upon the missing drive.

Reading Hack 6: Read Books Like Magazines

Skipping a whole page, reading in 5-minute spurts or skimming to find the most interesting parts and then go deep and slow on those.

Reading books this way can be powerful on a few levels:

  • It helps to find the most important knowledge that’s worth going deep on.
  • It helps us slow down so we get the most from what we focus on.
  • It makes reading easier, as it fits well with the modern human’s diminished attention span, and it’s better than not reading.

Smart Readers And Book Hoarders

Smart readers have a consistent learning ritual. They also learn how to learn, maximizing the value extracted from reading, and take action until they get the result they’re looking for.

Whereas book hoarders judge themselves by the number of books they own, smart readers judge themselves by what they get out of them.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Reframing excuses we make for not reading:

  • Time: Stop thinking of it as some activity that you do when you feel like it. It should be a reflex, a default.
  • Money: Reading is not a luxury. It’s a necessity.
  • Purpose: Whate...

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Reading is a habit of compounding growth. When reading, you'll learn more, and you'll generate ideas and motivation for making other changes.

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Put the book down

The real cause of reading too few books is that you don't enjoy it enough.

Don't feel compelled to finish a book that has become boring, predictable or unhelpful. Start a new one. You can have many books through various states of completion. Some won't be finished, and that's okay. Reading less is worse than having a few go unfinished.

Build an online library

An obstacle to your reading habit is not having enough interesting books waiting to be read.

Create a list of potentially good books. If you have a Kindle or eReader, get samples of any book you might want to read — Source your wishlist from suggestions from other writers and authors. When someone recommends a book on a blog or tweet, add it to your wishlist.

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