To read too many books is harmful. – Mao Zedong, Chinese statesman (1893 – 1976)
Knowledge is power. Readers are leaders. These are two of the most popular quotes about reading. They inspire me. They make me want to just grab any material, all materials and read. I enjoy the euphoria and satisfaction that comes with having something to contribute on certain topics.
My laptop is full of eBooks on various topics, both relevant and irrelevant. Each time I learn about a new book or new concept. I look for materials on it, either by borrowing or buying. I am such a sucker for information and that has brought me so much troubles.
While reading has improved my vocabulary, perceptions, thoughts, and widened my horizon about various issues, I have found out some truths about reading of any kind and I do concur with Francis Bacon who said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” And I may proceed to say that in fact some books are not to be read at all.
Another truth I stumbled upon is this: You can not possibly know everything and can’t read every book. This is why I love to use this concept ‘selective reading’ or ‘purposeful reading.’ It is really a very simple concept. It is the art of reading on purpose and I have outlined the steps later in this article.
I do believe we should not just read for reading sake or else we set ourselves up for ‘information overload.’
How then do I practice selective or purposeful reading?
1. Decide on what topics, issues you desire to know more about. This could be something in your line of career, personal development or business e.g photography.
2. Streamline your topic. This can be achieved by asking this question: “What aspect of photography do I need to know more about? Still photography, fashion photography, digital photography, analog photography, or photography editing.
3. Search for books on these subjects and read.
4. Practice what you read. Whatever things you have learnt in your area of interest, endeavor to apply because “Reading books is learning, but application is also learning and the more important form of learning.”
By using the four steps above you would have eliminated the clutter in your library.
Have fun reading effectively.
Obafemi Fawibe is a blogger and soon to be published author. He is a social media enthusiast, sapiosexual and an unwavering believer in a new Nigeria. He blogs at www.obafemifawibe.wordpress.com and tweets from @phemyte
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.