Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How To Read A Book

I am still reading "How To Read A Book" by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. Pretty lazy right now to practice the reading lessons in the appendices. Hmm, so far target for reading at least 10 books during my free time after finishing exams, had failed miserably. I had stopped reading Dawkin's "The Ancestor's Tales", there were a bit too much scientific facts that I need to remember, before flipping through the next few pages, but well perhaps I just don't like science as much?

An interesting quote from the book,
"More important, we want to remind you that it is wise to begin with those books that interest you most, for whatever reasons. As we have pointed out several times, the primary aim is to read well, not widely. You should not be disappointed if you read no more than a handful of the books in a year."
 Page 348, "How To Read A Book"

When I signed up to Goodreads.com, a social network community for book lovers, my aim was to read as much as I possibly can, and in hindsight I had forgotten that quality is more important that quantity. There is no point for me to read hundreds of books a year if what I read do not challenge the status quo of my philosophy, or make my mind grow.

The book also mentioned that, we should read something that are "over our head" to progress. It had never came across my mind that, I needed a "how to" for reading books. I mean, how hard can it be right? Reading, just like anything else, will come naturally as we do more of it, that's how I used to think anyway. 

Oh boy, and I thought wrong. This book enlightened me, on how I should be reading different materials, with different reading techniques. Practical books, imaginative literature, poems, history, science, mathematics, philosophy, and social sciences all deserved to be read in their own different manner and speed.

There are types of books that should be devoted with undivided attention, and there are those of which are plain rubbish and a complete waste of time. 

I'm changing my target, I no longer want to read as much as I can. I want to read and learn more, but with less books.

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