Misc topics:03. My reading tips
The best information source
to learn and understand things
are (nonfiction) books
written by the best in their fields.
I read every book I start thoroughly,
from the first line to the very last,
which I can only recommed.
"Speed reading" makes as much sense
as "speed watching" a movie would,
or "speed listening" to music
— or "speed observing" a grandmaster
when attempting to learn from them;
you sure get the general tone
and a few isolated bits and pieces,
but it's far from the real thing
and totally lacks the synergetic effect
(since a whole is always more
than the mere sum of its parts).
Here are some tips for
your reading/learning experience:
1. Mark particularly interesting
sentences or paragraphs
with a vertical pencil line
next to them in the margin,
and list the page in pencil
on the first suitable (near-blank)
page of the book.
2. You might also mark errors
in the book, be it typos or others.
I do so with a wiggly line in the margin
next to the affected line
and make correction marks
within the line itself.
Sending error lists to
publishers or authors,
before I became a
professional proofreader and editor,
I have received many
nice thank-you gifts back,
got honorable mentions in books
and even build some friendships.
3. Use a blank piece of paper
as your bookmark.
Jot down short notes and keywords
on everything from the book
that you want to dig into deeper,
either on the internet
or by follow-up books.
4. Don't limit yourself, freely
follow your inspiration and interests.
One topic will lead to another,
it's just one world after all,
so everything is interconnected
with everything else in the end.
5. Plan your reading and learning.
Reading a book takes time,
and there are many good books.
So make a reading plan
and update it from time to time.
Depending on how many books
you have before you,
there can be several factors
going into the equation,
including your interests, needs,
career plans, a learning strategy,
going for a wide spectrum
(many short books first)
or focussing deeply on one tome
or the works of one author,
and so on and on.
6. Don't waste your time with "literature".
A good novel now and then can surely be
good entertainment and thus life quality,
but the information density of literature
is usually very low compared to nonfiction.
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