Sunday, February 19, 2012

A New Way to Read

There is a kind of reading that can be called "preliminary reading" or "partial reading":

Given that one does not have the time to read everything he or she would like to read, and that many books are not worth reading in their entirety, and that from time to time one finds books that he or she did not intend to read but that seduce and distract him or her from his or her reading plan, I came up with a new method of reading that involves reading only the first sentence of each paragraph in some books.

This is not really a new method. I actually thought of trying it when I overheard someone else talking about a (history) professor of his that does that.

There are exceptions, of course, books to which one could not effectively apply this method. It would not work for reading a novel, for example. But for many academic books, whether history or science or theology or linguistics, this type of reading could very well highlight most of the important ideas while saving gobs of time by not getting lost in the details that one is going to forget later anyway. I think that reading is not complete but it highlights the main ideas can serve very well.

What do you think? Have you ever read a book this way? How else do you recommend a slow reader like me (in spite of a speed reading course) read more in less time?

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