What is the Best Way to Read?


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?



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