Shane Parish on reading better

Highly recommend Shane Parish’s blog on reading. Some notes/takeways below after diving into the rabbit hole.


  • Before starting to read a book (particularly non-fiction), skim through the index, contents page, preface, and inside the jacket to get an idea of the subject matter
    • Read cover and preface
    • Read contents
    • Read index to understand terms
    • Read pivotal chapters
    • Read end
    • Listen to interviews
  • Draw a mindmap of subject of what you know before you start reading. Keep adding to it after every session
  • Take notes for every chapter set the end
    • Review at the end of week
  • Read 25 pages every day
    • Half an hour after work with coffee
  • Read only quality stuff
    • Focus on time and details: is the knowledge you’ve gained relevant in current context, will it remain relevant and do you understand the details
    • Stop when bored. Use the rule of 50 to decide if you still want to continue with the book.
  • Read more on the subject from other authors.
  • How do you Find What a Book is About?
    • Classify the book according to kind and subject matter.
    • State what the whole book is about with the utmost brevity.
    • Enumerate its major parts in their order and relation, and outline these parts as you have outlined the whole.
    • Define the problem or problems the author is trying to solve.
  • Note down key parts elsewhere (in a journal or, if you’re me, a blog) with your interpretation of thoughts

    closing the book and writing a summary forces you to figure out the key points (one set of reaches), process and organize those ideas so they make sense (more reaches), and write them on the page (still more reaches, along with repetition). The equation is always the same: More reaching equals more learning.