I enjoyed reading How to Get the Most Out of Your Books by Donald Latumahina this morning. But the following statement jolted me:
“…the goal of reading books is getting actionable ideas.”
This could be a goal for some books, for example, how-to or some self-improvement books, but it would be a travesty to apply it to all non-fiction.
Simply to understand
Often the goal of reading a certain book is simply to understand. Building one’s wisdom and/or knowledge is an important foundation for taking action in the many complex and often unanticipated situations we face today.
Thorough, but tedious
Mr. Latumahina’s method, while thorough, is tedious. I like to read for the pure joy of understanding a new perspective. I like to immerse myself fully in a new book, to listen empathically to it, and then only analyze it once I am sure I fully grasp its message.
The point is to understand
Going overboard on analysis can quickly lead to an obsession with process that defeats the point of reading the book: to understand.