My Latest Experiments with Reading

I’ve got a few books on the go right now. One of them is How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler.

Adler talks about four levels of reading. The third level is called Analytical Reading. It’s focused on understanding the book. I’m focused on practicing this level right now. (Farnam Street has provided an introduction to Analytical Reading here.)

Most of my reading notes used to be highlighted passages. This was largely driven by fear. I was afraid of misinterpreting an author or not knowing how to properly cite a specific idea.

Now I’m experimenting with paraphrasing instead. This is part of my Analytical Reading practice. This involves understanding the author’s key arguments and writing those down in your own words (as much as possible).

I have been finding this to help me better understand the overall argument presented by an author. It also reminds me to reflect on how every part fits into the whole.

(I don’t know how I will approach citations with this new approach. Perhaps I don’t need to be so specific because I’m not writing for academia anymore. I’ll probably start to experience this closer to the end of the year.)

I recently bought an iPad Pro. I’ve been using split screen to have my Kindle and Obsidian apps open next to each other. This allows me to read and take notes with ease. I’ve been using this to read when I’m not at my computer. I find it much easier than taking analog notes or typing notes on my Kindle.

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