Reading multiple books

Brian Tobal writes:

It’s a process I’ve developed called surgical reading and it means that when I’m reading a non-fiction book, I focus on locating and removing the most valuable pieces of information from it quickly as possible. This allows me to read many different books across a single topic at once, so I can look at it from multiple perspectives. My goal is to quickly locate valuable knowledge and use the information I acquire in the real world to solve problems.

You can take any path you want, but for me, the index is my first stop after the title. Armed with a guess of the book’s point of view from the title, I use the index to understand what topics we’re going to cover and hopefully how we’re going to approach them. 

Emphasis mine

I was wondering if there could be a simpler way of reading multiple papers at once. The fact that academic writing is obtuse and uninspiring takes away the fun of reading them. I usually focus on putting out the papers that have something substantial to say, like a practice changing paper or something that represents an idea.

Here’s something more:

To start reading multiple books, I recommend using this technique across all of them, letting the indexes guide you. Feel free to stay in one for a while if you want to. Write notes, highlight words, or draw tiny cats everywhere…I mean the options are pretty limitless here. 

I usually read the PDF’s, and primarily to address the space crunch. I offload everything to Dropbox and pull the papers, on demand, which syncs well with the desktop and other internet connected devices. I have no complaints. However, annotation on epubs (e-books) is a pain. I prefer more of an active learning.

I dont believe that reading multiple books will serve the purpose that serves the author. I keep books for something additional. Over and above what I gather from my daily reads. And I read a lot.

It’s fun though and a better option that social media, any day. Choose wisely.