10 things you should be doing while reading non-fiction books
Sometimes I have to read and re-read a passage several times if I don't get it. Even if I do get it, sometimes I like re-reading so I can 'absorb' the takeaways better.
2. Take notes
I can't tell you what to take notes on but for me, I take notes on anything that makes me think "oh this is interesting" or "oh this is different from what I understand".
3. Question the author
It's hard to know what is 'true' in the world. Some books may be written beautifully but just because the writing is amazing doesn't mean it is true or should be believed. I think you always need a healthy dose of skepticism - it's a way to make you a better reader too.
4. Scan the table of contents
First thing I like to do before reading a book is scan the table of contents. It helps me get a sense of what the book will be about, the arguments that the author will be presenting, and the 'flow' of the book.
5. Read the end first
Depending on the book, the conclusion may have everything you want out of the book. Reading the conclusion helps you get a sense of where the book will end and that way you can work your way backwards (or forwards as you're reading) towards that conclusion.
It's like re-watching a movie and seeing all the things you missed the first time.
6. Scan for headings
Quickly sifting through the book for headings, you can see what the author has marked as important or how they have broken down the chapters.
7. Jump around
Just because one chapter doesn't resonate with you doesn't mean you have to finish it.
8. Dig into the bibliography
All great non-fiction writers read and refer to other books (or at least that's what I have seen). Digging into the bibliography gives you a greater appreciation and understanding of that topic.
9. Search for other books by the same author
Authors tend to write multiple books and if you liked the book you've read, you may like other books the author has written too.
10. Compare and contrast
For greater understanding and knowledge, I like taking similar books and reading through them at the same time, comparing and contrasting the same topic in different books. For example, to build your web of knowledge for entrepreneurship, you might read several books at once, noting different business models, different entrepreneurs, different company cultures and styles, different industries, etc. and trying to figure out what similar themes are across these.