Matt’s Idea Blog: How to read a lot of books in a short time

Stumbled on this article but since I have a ton of books also I’d like to plow through, I’ll have to try this technique. It also got me thinking about the Aversion Therapy mentioned early in his post. I should make uncomfortable those things that I want to do less of like watching TV. It means giving up my comfortable recliner. Ah well someone on craigslist will enjoy it.

the most useful technique comes from Jason Womack [3], and synthesizes nicely the most common ideas. In a nutshell, he says he reads the book four times:

  1. Table of contents, glossary, index.
  2. Anything in bold, titles, and subtitles.
  3. First line of every paragraph.
  4. Entire book

Here’s the twist: Steps 1-3 should only take about 10 minutes. To capture relevant information he uses a note-taking scheme involving putting dots in margins, and cross-referencing them in an index in the book’s front. When done, he transfers them to a text file.

Matt’s Idea Blog: How to read a lot of books in a short time


  1. I read about this on Jason’s blog last year and it’s been great.It’s awesome for long business and how-to books.Thanks for sharing,Christopher S.

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