Feb 18

How to read a non-fiction book

From our academic to professional life, we need to read a lot of non-fiction books to get infomation in shortest time. However, if we see that it is a 250-pages book and we don’t have enough time, we’ll just leave it (it happens to me a lot). Luckily, I have come up with a small document written by Paul N. Edwards of University of Michigan: How to read a book. It is really a nice piece of advice to read a 250-page book within six to eight hours.

I quote some of the ideas from the book I really appreciate:

We need to read the book three times. First time to discover the important contents (takes around 5-10 percent of the total time), second time for detail understanding (it is really reading the book that takes around 60-70 percent of total time) and finally for remembering the important contents (takes 20-30 percent of total time). Don’t you think it a a great strategy?

Do you know where lies the most important information of a book?

  1. Cover
  2. Table of contents
  3. Index: contains the most important terms (this one I did’t know earlier)
  4. Bibliography: tells about the source and authenticity
  5. Preface/Introduction/Abstract (just like the journal paper)
  6. Conclusion
  7. Pictures, grahps, tables, figures: images contain more information than text
  8. Section headings
  9. Special type of formatting: boldface, numbered items, lists (as we use in writing)

Just give some time to read that pdf. You may surprise yourself at your reading speed ;)

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