Taking notes is the one thing that made my reading so much more efficient.

Even though it sometimes takes me up to an hour to process what I read, it's worth it in the long run.

Though reading without subvocalizing is not really helpful if you want to retain what you read.

I'll leave a link to an article that talks about some of the speed reading methods that might sound good in theory but are bad for you in practice:


And, if you would rather watch it, I made a video specifically about this topic :)


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Thanks for the resources, Orel! I didn't know you were on yt. Very cool video, congrats on the editing πŸ™Œ

I agree that you lose comprehension the fastest you go. Personally what I have found is that in a sentence, half of the words provide no meaning, so spending a bit more time on them doesn't provide value.

"My lovely mom went in a rush to the giant supermarket" -> "Mom" + "went" + "supermarket". Combining the skimming part to pay attention only to those 3 words + the no subvocalization of the entire sentence, (maybe just of the words) I find it a nice tradeoff.

I agree with taking notes, especially relating to my knowledge and writing with my own words. At first, I was writing as if I had to present a perfect summary to someone else, but then I realized my job was not writing about the book but writing about how the book relates to my situation. I think that also helps with comprehension.

I think overall I may spend more time than if I just read without any technique but I didn't take notes

Thanks for the resources!

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I agree.

Also, in non-fiction books, most of the things are a repetition from other books.

After you read enough books you start to recognize when the author is using knowledge from another book in his book.

The good thing about it is that different authors write in different ways, so you can get the exact same information remembered better because of the way it was told.

I personally found speed reading more of a headache. I am not in a rush to finish as many books as possible. If I find something boring, I'll immediately skip it.

There are plenty good books out there that are well written.

Great achievement, by the way!

300 in 6 years is amazing.

well done! :)

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Thank you!

It makes perfect sense. I also found that the more I read and the older I get, the more picky I am with books.

I think I never got a book just because I saw it in a bookstore or at Amazon, I only go with recommendations from personalities I trust

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Great advice, Fran. I read a book on speedreading before I started college and it was one of the best investments I made. What most people misunderstand about it is that it's a very active process. You can't just slowly read through every word and sometimes for me--fall asleep πŸ˜„. Your brain is engaged the whole time. Appreciated a condensed version of tips and thanks for the shoutout!

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Exactly, after some time reading your brain is tired and you start being sloppy in the process

What I like the most is that I understand things better than if it took me longer to read it all. There's a sweet spot before you are going too fast and don't catch things

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Great article Fran, thanks for the mention πŸ‘

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Thank you, Richard!

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May 5Liked by Fran Soto

Great stuff Fran, I haven't heard about this eye warm-up thing. I must try it. Good point about reading with purpose. My last read was Dune Book 1, because the purpose was to relax a bit before the baby came :)

Where I'm lagging is definitely processing my notes in an automated way and organizing them, and I'm curious to year your tips on this.

I have dozens of quotes marked in my Kindle for several books, and I added my own thoughts, but I never went through them. I'm probably missing out on a bunch of great stuff I've read, from some of which I could even create content. I just haven't found an easy way to organize such notes yet.

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Thanks, Akos!

I'm definitely going to write about taking notes.

But don't think I have a crazy system. I want to properly think about what I want from the system before writing about it.

Another thing is to balance our own expectations. Before I thought I should process all the books that I read. Now I'm happy not coming back to some books that didn't add much to me.

Right now I take 2-levels of notes (both using Notion at the moment).

1. The note I take while reading the book.

2. I try to group the knowledge into somewhat of a Zettelkasten system. The idea is just to have notes based on the concept, not where they came from.

So for instance I'd read about writing from multiple books and then have a master "writing note" where I link all the little notes with particular concepts

For fiction books, I still use the pen to underline, but I am happy subvocalizing and enjoying the text. It'd be a shame to read too quickly books with special care on the writing, like "The Name of the Wind".

Haven't read Dune yet, I think it has been on my list for a long time but I read very few fiction books compared to a few years ago.

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May 5Liked by Fran Soto

thanks for the insights Fran!

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