Originally published on 15 February 2007.
I find reading to be one of my least efficient processes; I read non-fiction like fiction and don’t retain it, or I stop in the middle of a chapter and lose my thoughts when I come back to it. Jason’s technique is one that I ran across in my student days, but it bears repeating with the applicability to any non-fiction reading.
The technique involves making four passes at the book:
- Read the table of contents, glossary, index [and mine: the introduction to the book]
- In the chapter you wish to read, read the titles, subtitles, and captions
- Read the first line of every paragraph
- Read the entire section
The theory is that multiple exposures to the material makes it more likely to be retained.