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Slow reading books

Yahya Elyasse
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Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Hi guys,
there is something annoying me about my reading speed. I feel i need to read lots of books in IT field (and also other fields). But i just feel i don't read as much as i'm supposed to.
the average pages i can read by days are 15 to 20 pages maximum a day. and in many cases i don't finish reading the book and abandon it unfinished at the middle.
I suspect it to be some kind of lack of concentration; or probably i'm a lazy guy ;)
how many books you guys read monthly? yearly? what are your strategies for effective books reading?

thanks.
Vikas Kapoor
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Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
I have completed one story book with 300 pages in one day. but it is story book you don't need to remember anything.
It is not the case with technical book. I do something like,
- read something from book.
- Implement it and do some RND on that.
- I read the same portion, If I still have some confusion.

and this repeats for rest of the book or the part of book. I have hardly completed any technical book.
How much time do you spend is also important. 30 pages in 2-3 hours is fair enough.
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Vishal Pandya wrote:I have completed one story book with 300 pages in one day. but it is story book you don't need to remember anything.
It is not the case with technical book. I do something like,
- read something from book.
- Implement it and do some RND on that.
- I read the same portion, If I still have some confusion.

and this repeats for rest of the book or the part of book. I have hardly completed any technical book.
How much time do you spend is also important. 30 pages in 2-3 hours is fair enough.


hehe story books are definitely not like technical books ;-)
I'm assured when you say you hardly completed a technical book because it seems very difficult for me to read a computer software book from cover to cover.
hmm 30 pages in 2 or 3 hours? I'm not sure if I'm at this level but I'll try improve myself.
one question : How often do you read during the week ? do you read daily or you dedicate some specific days of the week for reading. if yes what is a fair average days/week to dedicate for technical books reading?

thanks much.

Vikas Kapoor
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Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
Yahya Elyasse wrote:
one question : How often do you read during the week ?
thanks much.


Whenever required. No specific day/time. If you're a student, you tend to spend more time in learning but once you're pro you can't spend or you don't get that much time just for learning. Whenever you need something new, you google it read it and implement it.
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Vishal Pandya wrote:
Yahya Elyasse wrote:
one question : How often do you read during the week ?
thanks much.


Whenever required. No specific day/time. If you're a student, you tend to spend more time in learning but once you're pro you can't spend or you don't get that much time just for learning. Whenever you need something new, you google it read it and implement it.


thank you much my friend.
Nitin Nigam
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Joined: Jul 03, 2006
Posts: 129
Hi Elyasse
I too faced this situation early in my career. And it was majorly because i was not very fluent with English. And when you read technical book (obviously you are learing that technology + trying to enterpret the language you are not fluent with) and simutaneously translate the language from English to your native language (in your mind), you got to become slow. So that was the case with me. But it improved with time. When i became fluent in reading English and started thinking and interpretting in English, this problem went away. But that span of 1 year or so was difficult.

And now i am good in reading technical books as well as novells.

Regards,
Nitin

P.S. Finished first 2 Harry potters in 2 months. 3rd one in progress.


Nothing is impossible; for those who doesnt have to do it themselves.
myjotting.blogspot.com
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Nitin Nigam wrote:Hi Elyasse
I too faced this situation early in my career. And it was majorly because i was not very fluent with English. And when you read technical book (obviously you are learing that technology + trying to enterpret the language you are not fluent with) and simutaneously translate the language from English to your native language (in your mind), you got to become slow. So that was the case with me. But it improved with time. When i became fluent in reading English and started thinking and interpretting in English, this problem went away. But that span of 1 year or so was difficult.

And now i am good in reading technical books as well as novells.

Regards,
Nitin

P.S. Finished first 2 Harry potters in 2 months. 3rd one in progress.


Yes i agree that reading in a language that is not your native language adds another layer of difficulty to the reading activity. i remember a couple of years back it was so hard for me to Read IT technical books. But things are much better now and I think things will keep improving over time.
thanks for your comment.
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1671
    
  14

Yahya Elyasse wrote:Hi guys,
there is something annoying me about my reading speed. I feel i need to read lots of books in IT field (and also other fields). But i just feel i don't read as much as i'm supposed to.
the average pages i can read by days are 15 to 20 pages maximum a day. and in many cases i don't finish reading the book and abandon it unfinished at the middle.
I suspect it to be some kind of lack of concentration; or probably i'm a lazy guy ;)
how many books you guys read monthly? yearly? what are your strategies for effective books reading?

thanks.


Relax! If you're reading a foreign language, it's natural to be slower than in your own language, and practice will help you to speed up. Also, technical books are harder to read, even in your own language. I'm a native English speaker but I'm still working my way through "HeadFirst Servlets And JSP" (over 800 pages) after several weeks, because I want to understand - and often try out - each piece of information as I learn it. On the other hand, I read a 480-page novel in two days last weekend, so it depends on the type of stuff you're reading.

When I was studying for my foreign language degree (a long time ago), I found it sometimes helped to read the foreign language text aloud (so long as you're on your own!). Even if you still read it slowly, reading aloud means the information has to go into your eyes then be processed again to produce the spoken words, so you may find it "sticks" better in your memory. But you probably don't want to read every code example aloud:

"import java-dot-io-dot-asterisk semi-colon..."


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Brian Legg
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Joined: Nov 07, 2008
Posts: 488
Took me over 2 months to complete the K&B SCJP6 book (over 1k pages) because I was trying examples and re-reading parts that were confusing. And that was spending 8-10 hours per day!

I definately agree with Chris, regardless if it's a foreign language, that it really helps make technical material "stick" if you read it outloud. I do this for all the heavier topics like generics or multithreading. Later I find I can recall these details much easier then if I had just read them in my head. Also, if you find a section that is extremely hard to remember.... copy it word for word on a seperate piece of paper while reading it out loud. That never fails to get it in there ;)

To answer your original question though, I am not a huge technical book reader. I learn most of my skills from online tutorials and pdf's. When I do read a technical book the speed is completely dependant on enjoyment and difficulty. I usually pick books that are fairly difficult but are something I will enjoy so it balances out. I'd say I average about 2 technical books a year, spending about a month on each. The K&B book was for a certification so I spent much more time on it.


SCJA
~Currently preparing for SCJP6
Marcel Wentink
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Joined: Sep 19, 2008
Posts: 157
Well you have read and 'read'. Some look over a few chapters, read a few pieces they find interesting, and then say they have 'read' the book.
Devesh H Rao
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Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687


Once, I got through LOTR (Lord of the rings, all three volumes) in a marathon sitting of around 2/2.5 days (around 1400 pages).
I have currently bought myself the complete set of asterix and obelix comics. Going through them at a rate of 6 or 7 individual comic per day (after work).

Ohh the topic was slow reading.... sorry wrong thread.
Sagar Rohankar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 19, 2008
Posts: 2902
    
    1

Also the speed of reading is depends upon the kind of materiel you're reading, If its Head First series book with some witty lines in it then your speed of understanding the things increased so as the speed of reading, but if the book is technically heavy that every line goes like an airy shots, that's eventually decrease the speed of reading (or you may need to read the same line again & again, if you really care to learn something )


[LEARNING bLOG] | [Freelance Web Designer] | [and "Rohan" is part of my surname]
Prabhat Gupta
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Joined: Jan 22, 2008
Posts: 135
After graduation i haven't read too many technical books...but i still remember in college days during exam, we(my friends)used to mug up whole book in single night
Sumit Bisht
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Joined: Jul 02, 2008
Posts: 329

Hi Yahya, its quite normal to feel frustrated with reading pace, especially with technical books. For me, if I am reading ebooks, i'll try reading and doing rnd simultaneously, for their paper equivalents, i'd suggest that you keep a rough notebook to scribble your thoughts/code snippets for later reference.
Also, try reading ebooks in a concurent manner (chapterwise probably).

monthly, i'd read atleast 5-7 new books (not counting the novels though)

hmm... maybe you could try changing your study time, if possible for better concentration.
Yahya Elyasse
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 510

Thank you guys for all important replies.
I'm a sort of books collector and lover. I don't know but since childhood the book for me constitutes a very Noble and precious thing and i was reading a lot in my childhood. it's crazy this love for books with me , i remember when i was studying for my engineering degree , i spent about a week collecting books to rnd to prepare my exams. I collected about 70 or 80 books and put them in front of my desk like a Mountain! . I spent 5 mins staring to this Mountain of books and realized how dumb i was ! I was trying to digest all these books in one week but end -up reading none of them. since then this created some reading frustration for me. it is also this technical and difficult nature of books i usually read that adds to my frustration. I think i should back my technical reading with some easy and fan books to help me balance my Mind state of reading.
It seems i'm so eager to read lots of book that in practice i end -up doing bad in my reading..so i have to radically revise my reading strategy. pick one good and carefully chosen book and stick with it until i finish it all. this way would be much effective. it is this huge number of books and huge choice you have to make that confuses me and gives me this sensation of low concentration -i believe-
but anyway, i think i'm starting doing well and learning from mistakes i did in past.

thanks for you all.
Marcel Wentink
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Joined: Sep 19, 2008
Posts: 157
Devesh H Rao wrote:Ohh the topic was slow reading.... sorry wrong thread.


This thread is to help someone to speed up is reading. I think it's not very nice and polite to abuse it to brag about your own reading speed.
chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1671
    
  14

Yahya Elyasse wrote:
It seems i'm so eager to read lots of book that in practice i end -up doing bad in my reading...

Somebody once said that the way to get a lot of things done is to do one thing at a time!
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Slow reading books