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Monday, March 2, 2015


I like books.  That is probably a bit of an understatement.  I do not have room for all of my books in my office.  So there are several boxes of them up in our attic.
Several years ago I read, How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren.  It is the best book I have ever read on how to learn.  In the book the authors talk about several layers of reading.  The first is the scan.  It is a method of getting the kernel of a book in about 20 minutes.

A few years later I took an intersession course at DTS.  The professor was a newly minted PhD, Hans Finzel.  Part of the course was an application of Adler and Van Doren’s level one of reading, a book scan.  Since that course I have used that system on many books.

I am not 100% consistent but I scan many of the books, non-fiction, I read before I read them.  It gives me a context for the argument of the author and makes my reading of the book more effective.  I recommend the practice, here is an example.

I am thinking about adding a page on this blog and from time to time sharing some of these.  Regardless, you should try it.

1 comment:

  1. Great book and great practice, Mike. Could you please share how you use the results of your inspectional reading -- book review, like the one you refer to as an example? I would guess, the obvious benefits of verbalizing your findings -- to better formulate the thoughts and store them in case you delay with the actual reading of the book. Any other? Thanks.