When was the last time you read a textbook for fun?
While I was in k-12 I never enjoyed reading textbooks. It was always a chore because I’d have to memorize things to do well on exams. I never read a textbook because I was curious.
During the winter break of my freshman year, I took it upon myself to learn how to learn. As a student on the pre-med track, it was becoming increasingly difficult to stay on top of the material.
In make it stick I learned how to read textbooks and take memorable notes.
Here are a few key points that stood out:
- Skim through the entire chapter first
- Identify key points
- Look through the vocabulary to familiarize yourself with terms
- When reading, don’t copy from the text but rather synthesize the material in your own words.
- After you’ve given yourself a day or two to wrangle with the material go back and review it. Forgetting is a key part of the learning process.
Reading a textbook isn’t scary to me anymore. In fact, I go out of my way to find the best one on a topic. They’re highly dense, to the point, and quickly indexable for reference.
If you’re looking for a quick way to master the fundamentals of a specific topic. Go find a textbook and take the time to read it.