Thursday, March 31, 2011

All Reading Is Not Equal or Fast

Four years ago I posted Reading Tips, where I offered some ideas on how to read technical books.

Recently I've received emails and questions via Twitter on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same subject.

In this post I'd like to offer anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r perspective. Here I will introduce different "types of reading." In ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r words, I don't see all reading as equal, and what some people might call "reading," I don't consider to be reading at all!

After reading this post you may find you can adopt one or more (or really all) methods in your own knowledge journey.

The key to this post is to recognize that different types of reading exist, and you have to decide how you are going to approach a book, article, or ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r printed resource.

My list follows.

  • Proofreading is a very intense activity where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader scrutinizes every aspect of a book. The reader pays attention to technical accuracy, grammar, production value (quality of screen captures, etc.) and all ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r customer-facing elements. This is usually a paid activity because it can be very demanding and time-consuming!

    I doubt most people find cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365mselves in this situation, but I have been hired in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 past to do this sort of work.

  • Reading for correctness is a subset of proofreading where cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader focuses on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 accuracy of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 written material.

    For example, is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 author correct when he says cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 TCP three way handshake (TWH) is SYN ACK -> SYN ACK -> ACK? Wrong! (True story.) Here cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 reader is trying to see if cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 author knows what he is talking about. I usually enter this mode when I smell blood in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 water. In ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r words, when I encountered cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 wrong TWH in a book years ago, I continued hunting errors until I was mentally exhausted.

    This is an unpleasant form of reading reserved for error-prone books. Once an author proves he or she knows cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 material I usually don't enter this mode. I only read for correctness as preparation to write a book review of a technically inaccurate book.

  • Memorization is anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r intense reading form, usually reserved for academic classes. If you've had to study for a biology test, you've probably read for memorization purposes. If reading for memorization, I will likely heavily mark cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 text and create independent, supplementary materials like flash cards. Yes, on real index cards! The act of writing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 material helps activate ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r areas of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 brain to memorize information.

    Thankfully I haven't had to do this sort of reading in years, or at least not regularly. I have had to memorize information for amateur radio license tests, and I like creating flash cards for that information.

  • Reading for learning is one of my common modes. With this approach I mark up a text (generally underlining or bracketing key terms and sections) and add comments or questions in margins.

    You might think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 previous (and possibly cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 subsequent) reading modes are all about learning too, but simple learning for me is a more relaxed endeavor compared to memorization or correctness.

    The goal of learning is to be able to remember a subject, preferably well enough to at least describe it (but not teach it) to a third party.

    Reading for learning is as fast as you are able to absorb material.

  • Reading for practice is closely related to learning, but it involves material that has an operational aspect. For example, reading a programming book for practice, for me, involves trying cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 code examples, and even better trying cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 sample exercises.

    Practice is a more active form compared to learning. With learning I might be able to explain a pointer, but with practice I could write a program using one.

    Due to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 hands-on manner, this is a slow form of reading.

  • Reading for familiarization is anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r one of my more common reading forms. Here I am just trying to understand cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 author without necessarily planning to implement his or her concepts in real life. For example, I plan to read a book on Windows internals in April, but I do not plan to become a Windows kernel programmer.

    Reading for familiarization is probably cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fastest way to read a technical book and still derive value from it. I may or may not mark up a book for familiarization purposes.

  • Reading for reference starts to enter cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gray area of possible "fake reading." If you only read a few sections or chapters of a book, have you really "read it?" For example, I've relied on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 massive book Unix Power Tools, but because I've only referenced parts of it, I've never formally reviewed it.

    In my opinion, unless you heavily reference a book over time, you're not really reading at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 level cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 warrants a review.

  • Sampling is not reading. Top Amazon book reviewer frauds, this means you. Looking at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 front cover, back cover, index, table of contents, and a few sample pages doesn't make you qualified to write a book review. The sorts of people who write more than a few book reviews per day are cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fakers who consider "sampling" to be "reading."

  • Reading for entertainment is not generally an approach I take with technical books! Sure, I enjoy cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m, but it's not like reading a classic fiction book. When reading a nontechnical work, I tend to devour pages. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it's exceptionally fast since cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 emotional component engages additional brain components that would allow me to later describe cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 content should I wish to do so.


How does reading for reviews fit in? In my view, as long as you're not "sampling" or reading for reference, any of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 methods above qualify for writing a review. I suggest adding one component to your reading process to assist with review writing: keep a separate notebook and take notes as you read. Be very specific, e.g., "p 121 had this quote... etc." The more notes you take, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 easier your review will be to write.

So what does this mean if you want to know "how does Bejtlich read so many books?" The answer is to decide just how you want to read a book. When I read a book on C or Windows Internals in April, I will likely be reading for familiarization. I don't plan to be a C coder or Windows developer, but I do want to be conversant in certain topics. If I get really motivated I will turn to my PC and try some examples. (In fact, I'll probably do that for a book on coding for Windows, since I've never done that before.)

What this means is that I, reading for familiarization, will probably read faster than someone else reading for practice, or memorization, or anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r time-consuming purpose. It all depends on your goal! On anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r day I may be reading for practice because I really want to know more about a topic, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n I'll be slower and more engaged.

Incidentally, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 more you read, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 faster you will likely become. I don't think improving your reading is limited to children, eicá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r (although my daughters are pretty scary in terms of speed).

Don't overdo it though. I would not be surprised to learn that chemical reactions are involved with reading, especially cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 more intense learning modes. In some cases I can feel my ability to absorb material shutting down, and at that point cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re is really no reason to continue. Take a break.

I also advise against reading in bed, although this is a truly personal opinion. For some people, it works great. I don't make it past five minutes!

If you have questions on this post, please comment here. I have to moderate everything so it may take me a while to notice cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Thank you.

4 comments:

Adel said...

Thanks Richard, It was really useful!
Be safe,
/Adel

Meller said...

Richard,

How do you maintain your list of books to read throughout cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 year? Do you look at upcoming books from specific publishers, books referenced in conferences and presentations, does Amazon offer pre-order recommendations and reviewer copies?

How do you prioritize such a list?

How do you tackle/review books that are only distributed digitally?

Fausto Cepeda said...

Where do you find cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time to read cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 books? After family-time, work time and sleep-time..at what time of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 day do u read and hoy much time do you invest? I keep trying to read books but I read 2-3 pages per day at night...thanks!

Unknown said...

"unless you heavily reference a book over time, you're not really reading at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 level cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 warrants a review."

that* warrants a review


people who marvel at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 number of books you read +1