How to Read a Book

Many of the books articles and other documents you’ll read during your undergraduate and graduate years, and possibly during the rest of your professional life won’t be novels. Instead, they’ll be nonfiction textbooks, manuals, journal articles, histories, academic studies, and so on.

The purpose of reading things like this is to gain and retain information. Here finding out what happens—as quickly and easily as possible—is your main goal. So unless you’re stuck in prison with nothing else to do NEVER read a nonfiction book or article from beginning to end.

Instead,when you’re reading for information, you should ALWAYS jump ahead, skip around, and use every available strategy to discover, then to understand, and finally to remember what the writer has to say. This is how you’ll get the most out of a book in the smallest amount of time.

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