Tag: reading

  • Nancy Pearl’s Rule of 50

    School has taught us to finish every book from the start. Students feel that it’s necessary to read every single word of the material because of its possibility of showing up on a test. However, this is one of the most unhealthy habits associated with reading.

    We need to change our mindset about quitting books. Quitting is usually considered a negative activity but best-selling author and librarian, Nancy Pearl recommends the Rule of 50 for the books you don’t want to finish. She writes:

    If you’re 50 years old or younger, give every book about 50 pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up.

    If you’re over 50, which is when time gets shorter, subtract your age from 100 – the result is the number of pages you should read before deciding whether or not to quit.

    If you’re 100 or over you get to judge the book by its cover, despite the dangers in doing so.

    This surely makes sense because as you get older, you have less and less time to waste on a boring book. If you’re reading a book you don’t find interesting for the sake of finishing it, you might as well drop it and not feel guilty about it.

    Also, since our age is finite, we can only read a limited number of books. Every time you’re reading a book from start to finish, it becomes one of those limited books you read in your lifetime. For every four books you give up on, you find one that you like.

    If you find yourself constantly checking how many pages are left in a book, it’s time to stop reading it and start reading something else. Completing a book isn’t a victory and quitting one definitely doesn’t mean you lack focus. A dull book is blocking behind it a list of books you might end up getting hooked onto.

  • On Book Summaries

    One of the most important things I’ve learnt in 2021 so far is how important it is to write Book notes after you read a book.

    Our brain is a memory bank but it has its own capacity. When we write summaries of the books we read, we actively put our brain to think what’s important by jotting it down on a blank sheet of paper.

    I definitely do not resonate with everything I read. In a Non-Fiction Book, there are some key takeaways that I would want to apply to my own life and there are some fillers and examples to amplify that point. The key is to retain what’s needed and throw away what’s extra.

    The 3 Step Rule to write book notes :

    1 – Make your Shorthand system to highlight the key points when you’re reading from a Paperback book. Or use the highlight option in Kindle or e-books.

    2 – After completing every chapter, grab a sheet of paper and write the chapter in your own words (without referring to the book).

    3 – When you finish reading the entire book, make sure to summarize the book in three points. The three things that you resonated with the most.

    (Optional) Make a Good Reads account and write a review of the book for others to read or to track your own reading journey. Also, if you own a website, you can publicize your Book Notes because it’s always a good idea to make things public.

    There are some striking books out there that have changed lives. They have significant knowledge stored in them but what’s the use of buying or reading them for 8 to 12 hours if the learnings don’t stick.

    Taking book notes is a beneficial and time-saving practice. If you store them safely, you can re-visit them after several years down the line to refresh your memory.

    It’s essential to be a picky reader when you read books. It’s not about how much you take in but about how much you can hold.