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PJM Lifestyle

What is the Best Way to Read?

Slowly or quickly?

PJ Lifestyle Daily Question


March 11, 2014 - 1:30 pm

Yesterday morning at this month's library #book sale I spent $20.50 and acquired these 10 finds - all hardbacks, ranging in price from 1-2.50 each. #Apple #ForbiddenKnowledge #Film #hate #founders #dog #Jefferson #Washington #Hamilton The wife was disappointed there weren't as many art books this month. Maybe next time...

Sitting amidst his book piles, PJ Lifestyle Editor Dave Swindle ponders after reading Hannah Sternberg’s post about the future of reading in a world where apps promise to increase the speed:

If you have say, a 200-page novel or nonfiction book, what is the best way to read it in order to understand it?

1. Read the whole book in one sitting, even if it takes hours? Is it important to read a book in one go?

2. Read it in, four, 50-page chunks over a couple of days?

3. Read one of its 10-page chapters each day and finish in about 3 weeks?

4. Read two pages each day and finish in about 3 months. Would marinating on the ideas slowly ofter that much time help?

5. Read one 40 page chunk at the start of each week and finish in 5 weeks? What about focusing on a single section at a time?

Or how does this change when the book becomes much larger? What about reading 400, 600, 1000-page novels too? Is it better to savor it

My tentative answer: in some cases, some books might require multiple readings. The first read could be quick and focused and then a follow-up read more leisurely. Or likewise it might be best to take a year with a single book as a daily companion then once done read it straight through to make new connections. What do you think?

Every week day a book excerpt, video, news story or some combination thereof to provoke spirited debate on controversial subjects. Have an idea you'd like to offer up for discussion? Email PJ Lifestyle's editor Dave Swindle: DaveSwindlePJM [@]

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All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
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Depends on the book, why one is reading it. "Is it good?"

Some books I read straight through the first time, trying for the whole of the story. Then I'll dip into them and pick up the story. Other with multiple plotlines - I'll reread and follow just one plotline.

Textbooks, read through for context, a second time for content.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Whatever works for you.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
With a lovely adult beverage.

I read as much as I want to at one time.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absolutely. Reading for pleasure, sometimes I go for about 15 minutes before I say "Eh, time to go poke up some trolls on the computer." Other times, I'll find myself waking up for the third or fourth time, looking at the same paragraph, and still don't want to close the book.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
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