Resources on Reading

Here are some of the top resources I’ve come across for getting better at reading, and that inform how I read every day. If you have suggestions for others I should check out, let me know in the comments.

Read to Lead by Ryan Holiday

  1. Ditch the school mindset. Places, names, trivia, are unimportant. Ideas are important, and you should focus on those
  2. Ruin the ending. Your aim is to understand the work, and ruining the ending allows you to focus on what the work means and whether you agree with it.
  3. Read the reviews. See what others felt was important, what the major themes were.

How to Read a Book by Farnam Street

  1. Inspectional reading. A quick skim or once-through to get to know the piece.
  2. Analytic reading. Understanding the book in full. Laying out the body of the work and separating the sections to be understood on their own.
  3. Synoptical reading. Pulling out the sections of the works that are useful, and comparing them against each other as they relate to your questions.

How to Read Faster by Mark Manson

  1. Shut off the inner monologue. It’s faster when you’re not sounding out every word.
  2. Read only first and last sentences of paragraphs.
  3. Skip sections, chapters, or whole books. The idea of finishing a book or 100% vs 85% completion comes from school. Ignore it.
  4. Relate concepts to thing in your life.
  5. Keep a database. Go back, and read the points you highlighted.

Finding Time to Read by Farnam Street

  1. Finding time to read is easy, it’s just about prioritizing. How much time do you spend watching TV? What if you spent that reading?
  2. Reading isn’t something to be done once a week to check a box, it’s something to do everyday.
  3. You don’t need to always be reading. When you have spare moments, think about what you’ve read.
  4. Have options for the situation. You’ll read differently on a Saturday afternoon than Monday after work. Don’t weigh yourself down – find the subject that hits the spot then.
  5. Remember why you read. It’s not a marathon, checklist, etc. It’s making you better. If something you’re reading doesn’t contribute to that, don’t waste your time on it.

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