What I am about to describe is how I read according to my own goals and skills.
Let me summarize first what I formerly thought about how folks like me were SUPPOSED to
handle books and reading:
1/ always read a book in the order it is written......
2. don't skip chapters
3/ Try to glean from the books you read precisely what the author is trying to convey to you.
4/ Put your own opinions aside and try to grasp the viewpoint and opinion of the author(s).
5/ If you don't recognize or comprehend a word that you discover in a book you are reading, you should get out a dictionary in order to figure out what that word means.
6. Never write in the margins of a book, even if you own it.....and never underline key portions of a text because it shows disrespect for the writer's words.
How I have changed....... I have totally changed how I react with books and the great result is that now I LOVE LOVE LOVE books,.....why? because I have learned to read them on my own terms and conditions:
This is my new method:
I decide what I am looking for first, even before I start reading the book and I keep that GOAL in my mind while I am browsing for the right book. I keep that GOAL in mind even after I have chosen a book, because then I browse the chapters and the index in the back/front of the book, to figure out the most interesting portion which addresses the data or principles that I am currently researching.
I skip lots and lots of chapters........ if they don't fit in my specific educational or research goal.
I don't really dwell on the intentions and beliefs of the authors of the books I read, as my goal is simply to cypher out the concepts and information that I am seeking in order to accomplish my self led education.
I very rarely read a book in the order in which it is written, unless the whole thing addresses the goal which I am seeking to gain from spending time with a certain book or author.
If I own a book myself, whether it is bought brand new or second hand.....I take great joy in writing copious notes in the margins and I highlight or underline as many interesting words as I wish.
I am not concerned in the least about the next person who may borrow my books, because....it's MY BOOK and I'll write in it if I want to.
I also very RARELY use a dictionary while I am reading, because it robs me of the joy I get from learning a new word and it's meanings directly from the context in which it is written in a book.
So that's about all for now. I just wanted to spout that out. Take a hold of your self led education and grab by the horns like a raging bull. Remember, friends, it's not about anyone else's goals or ideas about your life. Self led education is about you learning something because you are hungry to learn and because it was such a joy to discover once again, that even though you have made it into adulthood, that your desire to learn has not dissipated with your faded high school diploma, but rather that your desire to learn now has more urgency and refinement than ever before.
You suddenly see the need to learn in a totally new light! You finally feel empowered to set your own educational goals and can almost squeal with delight because you are aware that you can finally choose your own TEACHERS!
Enjoy learning, friends and let's see where it leads.