Have you ever noticed how much you actually read? As i sit here on my left there is a Highland Spring water bottle and on my left Dove deodorant and some Johnston’s baby oil belonging to Amelia. When i am out and about i read road names, seen them many times but still read them as i walk past them, bus time tables, buses, and the list could go on and on. Reading is a good thing, but sometimes we need to study instead.
So what does ‘to study’ mean? How is it different to just reading?
To study something is to learn something new or to enhance what you already know.
Now i could leave things there but in my quest to be committed to learning something new or likewise adding to what i know i would like to take the time to share how i study. I think my biggest love in life has to be reading and just lately i have read one novel after another and there is nothing wrong with that but i suddenly have the urge to learn something. Now what you learn is up to you, but you have a choice you can be a passive reader and at the end of the book not know much more than what you did at the beginning or you can be show initiative and learn lots.
As i have already said i am studying Daniel Nettle, Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are and i am finding it fascinating, but i know if i only read it i will learn very little and remember much less than that. So here are a few ideas;
- Decide what you want to know and find a book/article that will start the thinking process.
- Read slowly
- Be prepared to re-read for greater understanding
- Share what you have read to someone else
- Read with a pen and paper to hand
- Mark passages within the text
- If you can’t mark it in the text, if it’s not your book for instance, then write it in a note book, adding page number
- Ask yourself questions
- Ponder on the questions posed in the book, what do you really think and write it down
- Write down the names of the people quoted, what are they saying? How does it apply to you?
- Create an opinion of the book contents, do you agree or not and why.
- Read with a dictionary to hand if necessary.
- Decide where you want to go next; if there a particular theory or theorist that has stuck in your mind.
If you are not enjoying the book that you are reading then put it down. Find another one or change the subject matter. Think about what got you to this first point ‘Decide’ and then either work backwards or forwards from there. Reflect at the end of the book, did i learn something and how does what i have learnt fit in with my own thoughts and values.
Don’t forget to read for pleasure – sometimes!