article from TIME magazine: “Best, Worst Learning Tips” by Annie Murphy Paul

I do all sorts of reading, as you may have noticed here. I read fiction, some of it quick and easy reading (thrillers), for fun and the enjoyment of being caught up in the story; I read classic fiction for appreciation of the art form. I read nonfiction for the sake of learning more about my world, in so many diverse areas, because I love learning new things. I read books so that I can write book review for Shelf Awareness (although only the sort of books that I already enjoy reading). I read travel guides to help me plan trips. I read other people’s book blogs (although I am woefully behind on this) because I like hearing what they (you) have to say. I also read health information in my job as a medical librarian, in an effort to serve my patrons/patients with the best information available.

It’s been a little while since I’ve been in school formally, pursuing a specific degree; but I take short training courses here and there, and I am always aspiring to further schooling. If I had all the time and money in the world, you can bet I’d be a student again.

The advice implicit in the article linked below seems to be aimed primarily at students; but I believe that if we stop to consider, we all read because we want to learn something from our reading material (even if it’s just whodunit).

A friend of mine who works in higher education posted this to facebook – and I hope he won’t mind me quoting him: he called it “a very nice empirical discussion of learning strategies, something not all that common in the education literature.” (Thanks, David!) And here you are: “Highlighting Is a Waste of Time: The Best and Worst Learning Techniques” from TIME magazine. I thought it contained some good ideas for students or learners of any type. Of especial interest to me was the conclusion in the title: that highlighting is a waste of time (not least because it’s distracting to the reader). I couldn’t agree more! My high school English program actually graded us on our highlighting (we had to turn in our books for perusal). Sigh.

What’s your reading style? Are there any tips or conclusions in this article that surprise you or that you especially applaud?

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