Ten tips on how to read


I’ve read a lot recently, based on the course books for OU TU811 and TU812, I’ve branched out via ebay, and wordery to assemble the beginnings of a big shelf of books.

While reading if I see a quote or an idea that I’d like to explore further I usually detour to the internet and see if can buy the book specified, or in the case of Stafford Beer or C West Churchman if I can get any books by the author (yes, and no respectively).

When I get a book through the post, job #1 is remembering why I bought it. Job #2 is making sure I don’t already own it..(hello Creative Problem Solving, Flood and Jackson. Almost good enough to own twice).

I usually read the introduction, and a random selection of paragraphs*, and decide if I want to read the book now, or if it can wait.
* for some reason I start at the back of the book. Google can’t tell me why.

So, the 10 tips:
01) Why did I even buy this book? Gareth Morgans ‘Images of Organisation‘ and ‘Imagination‘ look like really poor 80/90s management nonsense from the covers, but are really good on the use of metaphor in communication. I was quite annoyed until I realised.

10) Randomly read paragraphs, and see how often I can relate the information in the book to what I already know. The more often what I am reading refers to what I am learning the more I’ll read. Unless I can relate what I am reading to what I know, it’s unlikely I’ll remember much. I’ve spent some time reading books that really don’t latch onto ideas I already have, and it’s not very productive.

So I just randomly skim, and see how much resonates. That’s one tip, it’s probably systemic somehow.


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