Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

How to read a book

February 21, 2012

The last blog on Sigmund Freud's Mind just happened ... i.e, it was not planned. I never thought I would read this book and write a blog on a small part of it.

Once inside the Infosys Library, I chanced to pick up a Daniel Goleman book (Vital lies, Simple Truths) and happened to turn the pages scanning for something of interest, when Freud's mind model almost popped up in bold and oversized font and held my attention. I read it instantaneously absorbing every bit of Freud's theory as stated by Goleman and then started typing all that I understood in my own way. And that was the conception of the blog.
But having finished Freud's portion of the whole book, I started taking interest in the rest of it. I started reading from the beginning, barring the preface and the introduction and after every 8 to 10 pages I paused, pondered, analyzed and jotted down that which I understood.
Sometimes this activity of writing the gist made me realize that I never understood what Mr. Goleman had to say in the first place and so I jumped back 10 - 20 pages to start afresh. This slowed down my reading rate considerably, which ofcourse I was happy to sacrifice in exchange of a better understanding.
I realized had I not taken to this new technique of pausing and reflecting and then writing down the content after every 8-10 pages I covered, I would have never known about my lack of clarity in understanding while turning pages after pages.
As they say, Ignorance is bliss, I would have happily finished the whole book without realizing that I missed a lot of what the author had to convey.

Finishing a book just for the sake of finishing makes no sense. It is wastage of time. It is even worse than not reading a book, because if you know you haven't read a book, you might consider reading it in future but if you know you have already read some book, you might never read it in the rest of you life.
It is important to preserve this digested synopsis of the book that was created with so much deliberation. In future  it will offer one, the whole knowledge of the book  in a capsule form. Also the digested synopsis can be converted into blogs (category: book reviews).

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