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Current education practices show that reading comprehension is misunderstood. It’s treated like a general skill that can be applied with equal success to all texts. Rather, comprehension is intimately intertwined with knowledge. That suggests three significant changes in schooling.
1. USE A BOOKMARK—BUT DON’T LEAVE IT IN THERE FOREVER.
I know this seems obvious, but we’ve all been interrupted mid-chapter. Who hasn’t been guilty of splaying a book text down onto a table? A little planning will save your book from dog-earing and any other little injustices you put that binding through.
However, if you leave a bookmark in a book for years—that plan to read all of War and Peace last summer just didn’t pan out—it’s easy for bookmarks themselves to put undue pressure on the binding or leave unwanted traces, like outlines.
A nice list of tips for keeping your books looking good for a long time. From a rare books expert.
Believe it or not, there’s a lot more than reading going on in our minds as we read. For instance, have you ever struggled to get through a mediocre book, but forced yourself to finish it? This could be the sunk-cost fallacy cognitive bias in action. (This is the same effect that prevents us from selling a stock until it returns to the level at which we bought it.) O’Shaughnessy describes it succinctly: “I stop a good chunk of books between 5-100 pages in. Never keep going if a book sucks. Most books are bad.”
Another cognitive bias is herding and Ravikant cautions against falling for it, i.e. reading for social approval. “If you want social approval, definitely go read what the herd is reading. It takes a level of contrarianism in saying, ‘Nope. I’m just going to do my own thing.’”
This list of ways to read more effectively is real interesting to think about in light of the first article above.
Not every novel finds its audience right away; in some cases, the ideal reader for a book may not have been born at the time that said book was first published. And while keeping up-to-date on new books is a good thing, it can also be deeply rewarding to delve into a book published several years – or several decades – ago. Sometimes an author’s style or approach will be ahead of their time; sometimes there may be unexpected resonances with events that have occurred since the book was first published.
What follows is a list of ten novels, released in new editions (or, in some cases, new translations) over the last few years. They range in style from comic to tragic, from realistic to uncanny, and their settings cover everything from the familiar confines of suburbia to a surreal Arctic landscape. Perhaps one of these books will be exactly what you were looking to read at this very moment.