Wrapping It Up: The Most Important Takeaways
You made it!
“There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” —Bertrand Russell
You’ve reached the end of the course. I hope you have enjoyed it, learned a few things, and found some value. For our final lesson, we are going to re-emphasize why it is worth being a demanding reader and finish with a summary of everything covered so far.
So, why read more?
In Lesson 1, we discussed the intellectual and emotional benefits of reading, but their acquisition is not why people read. I think people read for information, for entertainment, and for personal growth.
If read primarily for information and entertainment, you’ll benefit primarily from the lessons on prioritization, timing, and habits. But if you want to grow as a person, you need to become a demanding reader by applying the analytical reading. This can be a challenge at first. But that’s okay, the work makes it worth it.
Additionally, I have to say that to read to grow as a person, you need to read books that challenge you. They must appear to be “beyond your level” (but know that they aren’t). Find them, make them a priority, and read them inspectionally, then analytically. Make notes, ask questions. Do the work.
If you want to read more and read better, you must make the effort. No one else will do it for you. But you will reap the benefits.
I want to give the final words to Adler, as he clearly values reading, and I’ve drawn heavily on his work.
“A good book does reward you for trying to read it. The best books reward you most of all. The reward, of course, is of two kinds. First, there is the improvement in your reading skill that occurs when you successfully tackle a good, difficult work. Second—and this in the long run is much more important—a good book can teach you about the world and about yourself. You learn more than how to read better; you also learn more about life. You become wiser. Not just more knowledgeable—books that provide nothing but information can produce that result. But wiser, in the sense that you are more deeply aware of the great and enduring truths of human life.”
Key Lessons from This Course
Over this course, you have learned that:
1. There are many benefits of reading, which include not only increasing one’s vocabulary but also improving health and reducing stress.
2. Reading more doesn’t take that much time, but it must be a priority.
3. Books are not linear, and they can be read in swallows and sips and dropped or skipped.
4. You can deploy habit loops to ease yourself into reading more.
5. Slow reading is better than speed reading, and typography matters.
6. You may use inspectional reading to get the gist of a book and form an initial opinion.
7. There are questions that underpin analytical reading, and you should ask them to become a demanding reader.
8. Reading is active, and taking notes is a proven method of engagement and retention.
9. Good book lists will help you find books of your interest.
It’s up to you now. To read more, apply the lessons you’ve learned, and remember that 80% of your results will come from making reading a priority.
Farewell and happy reads.
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