About Reading

I kept seeing things about speed reading, I think that I always saw as something that should be avoided. Reading should be done at a pace that allows us to absorb information in a way that we allow it to settle, to sediment itself so we can use it at some point. Speed reading is a way to gather information, but I don’t know if it helps on the long term.

A while ago I found about the barbell method. This is a term coined by Nassim Taleb, and I think this is something that works for me. It allows one to better filter information from books and find out faster if a book is useful or not, among other things.

I found out about the Barbell Method from zettelkasten.de. In the article, they say:

It means that you make sure that the majority of your investment is safe while you make small but very risky bets. You combine safety with the possibility of high revenue. The trick is that you floor the possible loss while leaving the possible revenue unlimited.

And applied to books, it would mean that you would have to:

  1. Read the book. Read swiftly but don’t skip any parts unless they make you vomit or put you to sleep. Mark all the passages that stand out and contain useful, interesting or inspiring information.
  2. Read the book a second time. But now you read the marked parts only. This time you make notes, connect them to past notes (Zettelkasten Method!) and think about what you’ve read. Make mindmaps, drawings, bullet points – everything that helps you to think more clearly.

I’m going to leave a link to the article here so I can get back to it some time in the future, and maybe someone else will also find it useful.

Find out more here: Reading using the Barbell Method

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