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Comment on Reading

Some assume that the purpose or goal of reading something is to read every word, in order. This may even be taken to mean subvocalizing every word. This view stinks of propriety and blind obedience. It has no use but to satisfy an external standard of what constitutes reading.

The true goal of reading something is to learn what ideas are in the document. How to best accomplish this should be approached with an open mind. In many cases, some of the words are not important. At times, some parts are best read more than once; even though that is not necessary in order to be able to say one has read it, it may be necessary in order for one to *understand* it.

Sometimes parts should be read out of order, or parts should be skipped. Sometimes it is most important to stop reading any words for a moment and recollect what the purpose of this section is, to better understand what one is reading.

Please read thoughtfully.

Elliot Temple on November 29, 2007

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