How to Read a Book

Lesson 7 Chapter 3 Module 2

A few days in...how are you feelin'?

Any struggles? Realizations?

Good for you for still pushing through. That takes commitment, so good on you for doing that.

After a day of longer deep-thinking lesson, we’re taking a step towards to something very actionable.

In fact, it is the very concept of active reading, which means exactly what it sounds like. You make an effort be actively engaged (and learning from) the content you are reading, you aren’t just consuming it.

Think of it this way: there are different foods that you eat different ways.

  • Fast food is, by definition, something that is made easily for people to inhale quickly for whatever reason. Maybe they are rushing off somewhere, maybe they are famished and need a good pick-me-up, maybe it is is all they have the resources for at this moment.
  • Gourmet dinners, with multiple courses and wine pairings and tasting menus are pretty much the opposite of that. This is food you are making time for, paying a pretty penny, and sitting down to savour and understand.

The same goes for reading. Today’s lesson, from one of the definitive books on reading and comprehension of the 20th century, is all about the questions we must ask as readers to truly understand the depth and breadth of writing — and most importantly, how we will apply it to our own lives and world views.

While this is important for you to remember as a reader, it is even more important to remember as a writer. That when you are putting something out to others, they should be able to answer these four questions.

Which is why it is so important for you to know how to read yourself; it’s hard to ask someone else to do something you can’t (or don’t) do.

This week we’re digging into a lot of this, understanding the foundations of learning and reading, because the first step to becoming a better writer really is understanding what you are working with (words, language, ideas, narrative, theme, structure, story) and how to share that with others.

Til then!

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