Last week, I posted a video to my Facebook page in which I gave some tips for reading faster, better, and wider. Also last week, Hubworthy released book recommendations from people associated with The Gospel Coalition. (My list of “essential reading” is here.)
With so many good books to read, it’s natural to want to read better and wider. Here is my response to a few questions that were sent to me on Facebook, prompted by the video.
Do you have any recommendations on increasing retention level when reading?
Most good books are good precisely because there is one main thought you walk away with. If you are unable to summarize a book in a couple sentences, or easily assess the contribution it makes to the topic it covers, either you are a muddled reader or the book came from a muddled thinker.
If you were to pull a book off my shelf at home and ask me about it, I’d probably be able to tell you the author’s main point, his way of making that point, and how that point coincides or contradicts others in the same field. Then, I’d either recommend it as worthy of your time or point you to another resource.
Speaking of recommendations, describing a book as “helpful” is better when there is an “if” attached at the end. Such as:
- This book is helpful if you are looking for a popular level treatment of this topic (as opposed to reading a peer-reviewed academic work of research).
- This book is helpful if you want to better understand the worldview of a sentimental atheist (as opposed to reading a book of apologetics against atheism.)
Much of what we determine “helpful” or “unhelpful” depends on what we are going to the book for.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Gospel Coalition