Welcome to another edition of Weekly Reading List !! Thank you for joining.
We have two pieces in this edition. They ( In fact the one by Tim Parks was written almost five years back which I came across recently. ) are on two interesting aspects connected to reading. Let’s move on to that,
- In this short essay, Shane Parrish discusses the idea of speed reading. In fact, we have heard a lot about it. There are many tutorials which help people to read faster. But in this essay, the author tells us why speed reading may not be the best strategy to read more. He discusses a few pitfalls of speed reading. To begin with, he identifies the difference between better and quicker. Doing quick may not be the better way to do it. A good book, like good sex or good food, is to be savoured slowly. Reading fast may not involve thinking and that is a real casualty. Also, we should not be reading just to give the impression that we read a lot of stuff etc. According to Shane, the best strategy to read better is to read more books slowly and that will help us to filter out a lot of mediocre stuff. I am sure that, my reader friends will find this short essay very useful. You can read that here.https://medium.com/the-mission/speed-reading-is-bullshit-f5acbee7f59e
- This one by Tim Parks, which is tantalisingly titled,” A weapon for readers “suggest a very powerful way to read the book. Read with a pen in hand. And what we are supposed to do with a pen, Parks says “ make three or four comments on every page, at least one critical, even aggressive. Put a question mark by everything you find suspect. Underline anything you really appreciate. Feel free to write “splendid,” but also, “I don’t believe a word of it.” And even “bullshit.” Of course, you will have the ultimate freedom to do all this if it’s your personal copy. What Tim suggests is that it is important that we become active participants in a dialogue than passive consumers of a monologue. We need to engage with the author as we read. Also when we make our comments on the margin, it helps us to come back to the book and our own convictions at a later date. This is how Tim concludes his brilliant essay, “Better to read a poor book with alert resistance than devour a good one in mindless adoration. “ Read this beautiful essay. It has many takeaways. https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2014/12/03/weapon-for-readers/
Both the above essays offer invaluable tips in taking our reading to the professional level. The quality of reading can be vastly improved with tips such as these and our reading could be converted into a serious and profitable activity helping us to improve our lives.