In the age of self publishing and Amazon Kindle, there is a constant struggle by authors and publishers to get the attention of the readers. Many of us buy books impulsively and rarely care to evaluate the value we got out of that book for the money we paid and more importantly the time we spent reading it.
There are different genres of books and different expectations from their readers. Some are for pure entertainment and some might be reference books.
How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading helps the reader understand the serious work involved in reading a book and it’s benefits. The authors educate the reader about various techniques he should employ while reading a book based on the topic of the book and the intention of the reader.
The authors recommend a active reading style for anyone serious about understanding a subject through the medium of books. I have summarized some of the questions they suggest you should ask before you start reading a book and some of the questions you should consider asking while reading the book.
Why am i reading this book :
I want to improve my reading and comprehension of the material i read to help me in mastering the topics in Business & Technology and help me be a better Investor and Business Professional.
What is the Structure of the Book :
The Books centers around the concept of types of reading which are
1. Elementary Reading
2. Inspectional Reading
3. Analytical Reading
4. Syntopical Reading
Whats the Main Theme of the Book ( Key Points ) :
- Active Reading has great rewards but involves hard work by reader as he has to bring himself to the level of the author
- You need to know what you want to get out of a book before you engage in Analytical or Syntopical reading, hence Inspectional Reading is useful
What are my Questions to the Author :
You might not ask these questions to the author ( some times the author might not be alive ). But this will help you understand areas where you need clarification. You can ask your professor or friends to help you understand the subject better.
What are the facts in the book i would like to challenge :
This is important aspect of active reading. When we watch a movie or a show, we rarely question the premise behind the story, since we seek entrainment not knowledge. When you are reading a book it is a conversation between the author and you, the reader. The author presents his views and substantiates them with facts and data, however the facts change with time and context and hence it’s important for the reader to stay vigilant
My Commentary on the Topic of this book :
When ever we read about a topic, chances are we forget most of it in few days and if we fail to understand the concepts, whatever we have read might be of little use to us. Hence it is important to take notes and write your thoughts after you read a book. This helps you synthesis what you have read and ultimately help you master any subject.
If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it.If you want to master something, teach it