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How To Learn a Book

We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but start from it.

What does it mean when we are learning a book?

When you dive immediately into chapter 1, you may think you are saving time, but you may be missing out on relevant information which could not only give you a more complete understanding of the topic, but in a lot of cases also make you faster.⁣

Look at the cover of the book. On it, there are two fundamental pieces of information, if not more. ⁣

Firstly, the name of the author. Who are they? What have they written before? Which background do they come from? What is their writing style? ⁣

Then, the title. What is the angle the author has chosen for the book? Why did the author select exactly those words out of the thousands of words that make up the text? ⁣

If there is an image on the cover, why that choice?⁣

If there are glowing reviews, who gave them? What words did they choose? ⁣

When was the book published? Is it still current? ⁣

And once you open the book, the first glance should be directed to the table of contents, which will allow you to understand what the structure is and where to find the topics you are most interested in. Then, you can understand which ones you can go through faster and which ones will require more attention. ⁣

The introduction and final remarks will be a way to enter into the author’s mind; to understand the journey which led them to research and write about this specific topic, pinpoint their perspective and the point they are trying to make. ⁣

Part of “Don’t judge a book by its cover” still remains true though. If it is true that the cover, contents, introduction and remarks will be of help to you, it is also true that they will speak for the author’s mind, not yours.

Once you understand where the author comes from and their point of view, then it is fundamental to read the book actively, creating your own opinion about the topic, mixing the words with your background knowledge, and asking questions with intellectual curiosity, to make sure that by the end of the book, you are a new person.

'We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but start from it'

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