How to Read the Book? What Are the Different Types of Reading?
Now that you have read this article, of course you know how to read. We all learned how to read and write in school. So do you know how to read correctly and effectively?
There is a fundamental difference between reading for understanding and reading for information. You probably haven't paid much attention to "how" you read like most people do. But a person's reading style makes a huge difference to the acquisition of knowledge.
There's also a big difference between knowing the name of something and understanding it. Reading without knowing the background and context of something leads to learning very little about the thing.
Take the newspaper, for example. Do you really learn something new when you read the newspaper? When you read a column in the newspaper, do you think this person is an expert in his field?
Probably not. This means: You are reading the newspaper for information.
Many people also read this way, but these people do not learn anything new. Reading this way does not usually contribute to you, it does not take you forward in your profession, it does not help you develop different solutions to problems.
“Marking a book as you read means showing the difference between you and the author and discussing it with him. This is the highest respect you can show us writers. ” (Edgar Allen Poe)
Learning something new and useful takes effort. Therefore, you should read things above your intellectual level. You should read the books of people who know more about a subject than you. The more you narrow the distance between you and the author, the more intelligent and knowledgeable you will become.
What Types of Reading?
American philosopher and educator Mortimer Adler is a name that frequently includes the issue of reading in his works. According to Adler, there are 4 types of reading.
Your reading purpose determines your reading method. Reading a novel is not the same as reading Socrates. There is a lot of difference between reading for entertainment and information and reading for understanding.
While many people can read for entertainment / information, very few people read “for understanding”. (Note: When you say reading for information, remember the newspaper example. You get information about what happened in the newspaper that day, but this information does not increase your intellectual capacity.)
Before moving on to the types of reading, let's state this. Let us remind you that there are 4 types of reading and there is a level difference from the 1st type to the 4th type. So it is unlikely that you will have comparative reading skills without gaining analytical reading skills.
1. Basic Reading
This is exactly the type of reading we learn in school. 100% of literate people know basic reading. However, there is no rule that anyone who can read can "supervisory reading".
2. Controller Reading
We have been told that a quick glance at a text, a "flawed" reading is a bad thing. But a quick glance at the text isn't always a bad thing. It is very useful when applied correctly. Supervisory reading helps to take a quick glance at a book and understand what types of topics are covered in the book. The supervisory reading result can tell whether the book is worth reading or not.
There are two types of supervisory reads.
a. Systematic Scan
It is to read the title, table of contents, bibliography and back cover of the book. In this way, you will have information about the main topics covered in the book. After reading 4-5 paragraphs from the book, you make a decision: "Is it worth the time and attention to this book?" If your answer is yes, you can pick up the book and start reading. If your answer is no, you should put the book back on the shelf where you bought it.
The "Table of Contents" list often nicely shows you the main roadmap of the book. So even by browsing the table of contents, you will have information about the topics the book is about. You will learn about the jargon, style and basic concepts of the book while systematically scanning. Once you understand the basic jargon of the book and the author's method of constructing the text, it will be easier for you to identify the main chapters in the book.
Also a good tip for you: The authors make a great summary about the book in the introduction and conclusion part. Even reading the introduction and conclusion parts will show you why the book is important and what kind of questions it is looking for.
b. Artificial Reading
In this type of supervisory reading, you start reading the book. However, this is not a detailed reading. You do not need to read the sentence and paragraph one more time if there is something you do not understand. In other words, you read the book quickly, and you have information about the content and structure of the book. And at the end you make a decision: “Do I really want to understand this book? Do I have to read in detail to understand the topics in this book? "
Artificial reading is often done to scan books that are beyond your level. When you read the book very rapidly from beginning to end, you have a serious general opinion about the book. You just need to understand 25% of the book. If, after reading the book quickly, you are convinced that the really important and useful things are mentioned in the book, you can read the book more slowly and with difficulty from the beginning. This form of reading, which we call artificial reading, is the first step towards analytical reading.
In summary, supervisory reading provides you with a general knowledge of the subject, structure of the book, and how the author constructs his views.
Analytical reading is required for a deeper reading.
3. Analytical Reading
The British philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon has a saying:
“Some books are for taste. Some are for swallowing, some for digestion. "
You can think of analytical reading as eating and digesting the book.
Analytical reading means solid reading.
If time is limited to do supervisory reads, analytical reading is done over a longer period of time.
In analytical reading you need to put your mind to the text to understand and analyze what is written in the text.
Analytical reading has 4 basic rules.
Classifying the book to be read according to its type and theme
To be able to say the main theme of the whole book briefly and clearly
To be able to list the chapters in the book and the relationship between these chapters
Expressing the problem or problems the author is trying to solve
Even if these seem easy, they are actually things that require serious effort and concentration. However, during supervisory reading, you do most of these things.
However, in order to address issues in the text from a wider context, you need to be able to link and synthesize information between different texts and books. For this, comparative reading is required.
An analytical reader should be able to express the book in a few sentences and again succinctly explain how the book was constructed. However, a good book is like a good house. Each division has its own autonomy. Just as every house is more or less habitable, so every book can be read more or less. The number of complex books is higher than the number of poorly edited books. But complex structure also means simplicity. Because in books that seem complex, everything has its own autonomy, separate chapter, and separate title.
It is important to be able to express the book as briefly as possible, but it would not be correct to ignore the main issues the book touches on. Overlooking the sub-elements that make up the main structure of the book means not understanding the intent of the book. If the books were simple enough to be summarized in a single sentence, they would not consist of more than one chapter. But books are complex structures. You cannot simply summarize the book without grasping the whole. For this reason, you should also grasp the parts that make up the whole and understand how these parts are organized.
While doing analytical reading, it is also very important to identify the questions asked by the author. The author of a book always starts by asking some questions. However, the author may or may not find the answers to these questions in the book. In any case, your job as a reader is to identify the main questions the book is trying to ask. Of course, this should not mean "reading intention". In other words, there is a difference between what kind of questions the author tries to answer while reading Shakespeare's Hamlet and what the writer has in mind while writing the book.
In addition to all these, you should be able to distinguish between books that provide practical information and books that provide theoretical information. While practical knowledge tells how something works, how it is done, the theory remains more abstract. While theoretical books deal with a particular issue, practical books tell you how to put it into practice.
4. Comparative Reading
Comparative reading is the most difficult and demanding type of reading. You should read more than one book / text on the same topic and compare and connect the ideas in these texts.
In order to make comparative reading, it is necessary to identify relevant passages, determine terminology, and see the questions asked within a certain framework.
The main issue is not to understand what a book generally says, but to gain a general understanding around the theme of the book, including different texts. In other words, comparative reading is all about identifying and completing your knowledge about X topic.
Comparative reading (also called syntopic reading) consists of 4 basic steps.
Finding relevant paragraphs: You have to find the right books and the right passage / paragraphs in those books. Therefore, in order to do comparative reading, you must first read all the books you have with the method of supervisory reading.
Finding key concepts: In analytical reading, you must first find keywords and concepts, then identify how the author uses these concepts. However, if you have 5 books written on the same topic, 5 authors may have used the concept A differently. At this point, you have to practice translation and synthesis.
Asking the right questions: You should focus on the questions you want answered rather than focusing on the problems the author is trying to solve. Just as you need to create your own terminology, you need to clarify the questions you want the author to shed light on. You should frame the questions in your mind in a way that all 5 authors can provide answers. Because sometimes you may not find answers to your questions even though you read 5 books on the subject of X, because the authors may not have answered your questions as "questions".
If you ask the right questions, you can get answers from all 5 authors. You have to relate the opposite answers and thoughts to each other. Because learning different or opposite thoughts about an issue enriches your intellectual knowledge.
Building a basic opinion: You should not expect a single, clear answer to every question you ask. The important thing is to be aware of different views even if they are opposite to each other. Only then can you have a comprehensive and satisfying opinion on the subject of X.
How To Be A Better Readers?
To improve your reading skills, you must first ask the right questions in the right order.
Almost all non-entertainment reading is an effort to ask questions and get answers from the book, after all.
When you get a book, you should definitely ask these 4 questions.
a. What is the book all about?
You should identify the main theme of the book, understand how the author developed this theme, and notice the side ideas and themes in the book.
b. How is the issue narrated?
Identify the basic ideas, main arguments and main arguments in the book; you have to understand how the author built his ideas.
c. Should I read the entire book or a few chapters?
You cannot know this without answering the first two questions.
d. Why is the book important?
If a book gives you information, you should ask why this information is important. So why does the author find topic X important? Does it matter if you learn this topic?
Why Do You Need To Underline Lines When Reading A Book?
While reading a book, asking various questions about the book will make you a better reader. You should do this as much as possible, make it a habit. For this, we recommend that you always have a pen on hand. Mortimer Adler states that having a pen in hand while reading a book makes it easier to focus.
Adler says on the subject:
“When you buy a book, you are installed in the book. This is just like buying clothes or furniture. Buying the book is the first step to owning it. Basically, you have the book by taking notes on the book and underlining the sentences.
Why is it so important to underline, mark, circle sentences when reading? First of all, taking notes and underlining sentences while reading keeps you focused. Second, reading is an act of thought. Thinking happens with verbal, written and words. If a person who says he knows and thinks cannot express this thing, he usually does not fully grasp the matter. Thirdly, while reading the book, taking notes on the book and writing your current thoughts will help you remember the content of the book better.
Reading books means chatting with the author. The author usually knows more about the subject than you do. If you are not learning something new in the book you are reading, it would be better for you not to read that book. But it should also be noted that understanding is a two-way process. The student should ask questions to himself and to the teacher. Even after understanding what the teacher said, a discussion with him should be entered.
When we say taking notes while reading a book, we are not just talking about underlining the lines. Taking notes on related pages, placing question marks in incomprehensible places, staring important paragraphs, ticking, marking keywords and concepts, taking various notes on the right-left-top-bottom margins of the book… You can make an effective reading by doing all these. Remember, books are there to be understood, to teach new things, to open up horizons. Books are not ornaments. Therefore, take notes, write, draw, fight with the books, especially in your own books ...