Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Speed reading of technical literature

Not only the amount of information increases day by day, but also the pace with which new information and technology are created. It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Every day I learn programming, work on my projects, read books or articles, forums, learn spanish, english, japanese, sometimes chinese and portugues, although I have no time to learn them all at once, hence I learn mostly spanish and english at the moment, a bit of japanese and only occasionally portugues and chinese.

How do you thrive in this kind of environment with tons of information? In particular, how can you speed up your book reading ability? Recently I've read a book about this topic – speed reading of technical literature. The book described how to be able to read more effectively, faster and remember better what you've read. It’s only applicable for technical literature because the aim of technical literature is to convey information rather than give you pleasure of reading.

So in short there’re 3 steps: skimming a book for 5-10% of the time you plan to devote to reading it, reading it carefully – around 80% of the time, and reading it again making notes – 10%. Note that you can move around and skip chapters, you can read very fast and you can decide not to read it at all if in the 1st phase you feel you should.

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