Lessons from Professional Book Reading

When it comes to reading books, I often fall into a misconception that I must finish reading them, even the preface and footnotes.

This pursuit of ticking off reading is incorrect, especially when reading professional books.

First, it is important to clarify the purpose of reading. What kind of knowledge points do I want to acquire? With a purpose in mind, I can search for suitable books.

Then, determine the location of the knowledge points in the book. Some books cover a wide range of knowledge points. If we start reading from the beginning, we will inevitably waste a lot of energy. By the time we reach the part we need, we may have lost the enthusiasm or even missed the opportunity to apply the knowledge points in practice. Therefore, the most efficient method is to find the relevant knowledge points and start reading directly.

In addition, it is best to read multiple books together, cross-validate related knowledge points. This not only deepens the impression but also allows for a more comprehensive and in-depth understanding.

Finally, internalize the learned knowledge points through personal thinking. It is best to express them in one's own words, demonstrating an understanding of the principles and incorporating personal thoughts. This is true knowledge, rather than simply pursuing the number of books read.

Summarizing the insights gained from my lessons:

  1. Clarify the purpose: Improve efficiency.
  2. Find related knowledge points from multiple books: Deepen understanding.
  3. Understand the principles and apply them: Internalize.

My previous reading habits - reading for the sake of ticking off, reading without purpose, and superficial reading - have been deeply reflected upon. The reasons behind these habits are closely related to years of education, especially during the critical period of forming one's mindset.

Education here refers to both school education and family education.

In school, most of the time is spent on rote learning, without aiming to understand the principles. Most of the time, it is only for pursuing high scores. We do endless homework without much curiosity, not understanding why we are doing it or its purpose.

Guidance from the family is also insufficient, serving as an extension of the school. Being a good student means completing homework, without appropriate guidance for exploration beyond grades.

Changing reading habits requires a top-down approach. First, change the habits in thinking, then take action, develop the habits, and stick to them.

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