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Entry on March 13, 2007

March 14, 2007

How to read a non-fiction book

One is often bombarded by growing information everyday, tired of reading and maybe the better question to ask “How NOT to read?” In other words, keep oneself informed and minimize reading.

I started with a question about how to read a non-fiction book and search for answers from search engine.

In How to read a non fiction books the author shares some good tips. For example:
– Define how much time to spending reading the book. Three one-hour-reading is better than one three-hour-reading. Timing one’s reading.
– Focus on the parts with highest information content
– Process: Overview (1/10 total time), Understanding (6/10 total time), Review (3/10 total time)

My tip is to think of questions before and during reading:

Questions (random order):
+ Why reading this book?
+ What to look for/expect in the book?
+ Why this part of the book exists?  What is its role in the whole books?
+ What is the potential use of this part of the book?
+ What is the expectation for this part?
+ What should NOT be read carefully? What can be skipped in the book?
+ What is the logic of the parts of the book?
+ Concentrate of one aspect of the reading at a one-time-reading. For example: information, the approach method, cleverness.

Review:
+ Note ideas.
+ Think about applications of the book.
+ Discuss with others about the book.
+ Write a post to share with others.
+ Search for summary/note/review/debate/discussion..

Follow up: sharing values and change

In my previous post, I shared my frustration sometimes in “changing” people, despite the fact that my old psych friend Hank talked about time and “just be”. That the way of the youth and it’s right. I think so.

Today I read an interesting message from brother Hoanh in VBIZ mailing list about “Staying to be a leader” in which he inspires people be firm on their principles, stay on one’s course and succeed. He also shares a pearl about the human heart that I quote here:

“…Of course, you always want to share with your friends what you believe in your heart.  After all, that is what friendship is all about–sharing.  But keep in mind that people only hear what their heart wants to hear, at the time it wants to hear.  You may be 100-percent correct and may be the most persuasive talker in the world, but if the time is not right for your friend yet, he will not understand what you say.  A very simple point, sometimes a person can appreciate it right away, sometimes it takes him 10 years to understand it, sometimes he never understands it all his life.  That has nothing to do with the complexity of the subject matter; it has a lot to do with the heart. 
 
“Understanding” is not a matter of intellectuality, but a matter of the heart.  Consider this ancient quote: “You may be hearing but never understanding, seeing but never perceiving, for your heart has become callous.”  When our heart is right, we understand a point, when our heart is not right, we simply cannot understand it.
 
So you may want to share a word or two with your friends, but that is all.  Let them make their choice.  Don’t spend too much time trying to convince them.  If they get it, they get it.  If they don’t get it, they don’t get it.  Too much trying and pushing doesn’t help and may only annoy people.

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