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How reading becomes knowledge

A concept I have seen in both Marie Kondo and Paul Graham is how reading works.

Even if you do not remember the details of each book you read, the concepts and models in them will become part of your consciousness. Your self is the accretion of all your experiences and other inputs over your life. The book lives on, in there.

Writing is an essential part of reading because of this. The content does not become real knowledge until you try and work with it. I always come to a better understanding of the text when I try and talk about it in a review. As I pull out notes, I need to add detail, look up original sources, refer back to the text, think about the links to other ideas, think about the consequences of the idea, etc.

It is only in writing that the ideas become part of you. If you only read, then you skim off the top layer, this is a very inefficient way of reading! Reading is slow and takes time, so we should try and squeese as much juice out of it as possible.

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Last modified 2019-08-16 Fri 16:27. Contact max@maxjmartin.com