Surrounded by classmates, we were waiting in the courtyard for our next class to begin when my best friend decided to make an unnecessary announcement, “You’ve only finished one book in your entire life?!?” Matt shot out mocking me.
My eyes dropped to the ground, I hated this game. “We” played it all the time in the US, why couldn’t it just stay an American game and NOT now become an Australian school yard game? “Three.” I mumbled.
Conveniently, our professor opened the door just in time to see all of the classmates gawking / laughing at me.
He fixed his gaze on me, “Is this true?” he asked.
My cheeks flushed as I shifted my gaze to a different portion of grey pavement and I nodded.
“Why?” he asked.
My head whipped up to analyze his face, was he about to join the masses in making fun of me for having ADHD? I was sick of the memes and the jokes.
“Is it because you get bored?” he asked eagerly.
I looked up at him and prepared to receive another lecture on the importance of reading every word printed in each book we were assigned to read.
He furrowed his brow and looked at my face, “Do you stop reading once you know where the author is going and you understand his or her point?”
“Yeah!” I was amazed. No one had ever worded it like this before, “How did you know?” I asked, shocked.
Grenville immediately looked at Matt and my other classmates, “You know, your friend not finishing a book is a sign of intelligence, not stupidity. It takes her less time to understand the author’s point, so why would she waste more of it on reading what she already knows?” The crowd fell silent and all eyes were back on me, with an entirely different sentiment.
My new favorite professor shifted out of the door frame, “Come on in. It’s time for class.”
To this day, I don’t read every word in a book cover to cover (not even if it’s written by Tim Ferriss). But I do consume one book each week.
Here is how. Many authors will break down their books into a series of conclusions. Each chapter will be filled with all of the research, evidence and logical arguments that they believe are relevant to supporting that chapter’s featured conclusion. A summary of the conclusion is typically stated in either the first or last paragraph of that chapter.
If I don’t understand the logic behind a conclusion or disagree with the conclusion, then I’ll read the chapter to see if the author’s cited evidence is new information that I have not previously encountered or considered.
On occasion, I’ll read the contents of a chapter if I enjoy the author’s style of writing. But that’s rare.
If a book isn’t written in this format, I’ll skim it and have it back at the library shortly.