Get More Out of Reading in 3 Easy Steps
With back to school upon us, we are beginning a 10-part series on lifelong learning on The BIGG Success podcast by focusing reading. The summary is below.
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Summer is about over. For the kids, that means it’s time to crack the books again. But they shouldn’t have all the fun!
So we’re going to focus on lifelong learning in a 10 episode series, which we’ll kick off with the basics – the 3 R’s we learned in school – Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. In this episode, we’ll look at how to get more out of reading.
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Do you suppose that we are reading more today than we’ve ever read before? It sure seems like it as much as many of us read online – constantly. But how much are we retaining?
Let’s go to The Professor’s Whiteboard for 3 easy ways to get more out of reading…
Step 1: Reading is great; comprehension is critical
We ran across a quote that has something to say about that. It comes from the book, Learning to Be A Sage: Selections from the Conversations of Master Chu, Arranged Topically. Chu Hsi said:
“In reading, the greatest failing is to strive for quantity. Don’t value quantity, value only your familiarity with what you’ve read.”
We see so much information every day. However, information isn’t necessarily useful; knowledge is. Physically reading something isn’t that special; mentally comprehending it is.
Step 2: Create new worlds in your life
You may not only read for comprehension. You may also read for entertainment. If so, you get a BIGG pat on the back!
[George] I used to only read non-fiction. I thought fiction was a waste of time. Then I took a short fiction course with one of the best professors I ever had. It opened my mind to a whole new world.
[Mary-Lynn} Going forward, creativity is one of the most essential skills. It stems, in part, from imagination. When you read fiction, you have to paint the pictures the author is creating in your mind.
[George] One of my favorite authors is Dashiell Hammett. I just love the way he describes characters.
[Mary-Lynn] He was one of my mom’s favorite authors as well. When I found out you were a Dashiell Hammett fan, George, it really endeared you to me.
Don’t limit yourself to just reading non-fiction in your field. Don’t limit your reading to non-fiction in general. Read some fiction. Expand your mind. Force yourself to visualize new worlds in your mind. It will help you create new worlds in your life.
Step 3: Terms in context
BIGG success is life on your own terms. On one level, terms means words.
People who read generally have larger vocabularies. They see the same term used in different contexts. So they come to fully understand the richness of terms.
By understanding that richness, they’re able to call upon terms to empower themselves. They’re able to pull out a term, which has a number of layers of meaning, to describe what they want to do with their life. That’s one of the keys to BIGG success.
Most people don’t read these days; they scan. There’s a place for that. But for your most important, life-changing reading – focus on absorbing the material so it becomes a part of you. It leads to BIGG success!
Please join us next time as we look at the second R: wRiting.
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
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