Useful tips on reading non-fiction books from the Harvard Business Review
Start with the author. Who wrote the book? Read his or her bio. If you can find a brief interview or article online about the author, read that quickly. It will give you a sense of the personâ€™s bias and perspective.
Read the title, the subtitle, the front flap, and the table of contents. Whatâ€™s the big-picture argument of the book? How is that argument laid out? By now, you could probably describe the main idea of the book to someone who hasnâ€™t read it.
Read the introduction and the conclusion. The author makes theirÂ case in the opening and closing argument of the book. Read these two sections word for word but quickly. You already have a general sense of where the author is going, and these sections will tell you how theyÂ plan to get there (introduction) and what theyÂ hope you got out of it (conclusion).
Read/skim each chapter. Read the title and anywhere from the first few paragraphs to the first few pages of the chapter to figure out how the author is using this chapter and where it fits into the argument of the book. Then skim through the headings and subheadings (if there are any) to get a feel for the flow. Read the first sentence of each paragraph and the last. If you get the meaning, move on. Otherwise, you may want to read the whole paragraph. Once youâ€™ve gotten an understanding of the chapter, you may be able to skim over whole pages, as the argument may be clear to you and also may repeat itself.
End with the table of contents again. Once youâ€™ve finished the book, return to the table of contents and summarize it in your head. Take a few moments to relive the flow of the book, the arguments you considered, the stories you remember, the journey you went on with the author.
It is an excerpt from a new book The End of Average by Todd Rose.
Out of 4,063 pilots, not a single airman fit within the average range on all 10 dimensions. One pilot might have a longer-than-average arm length, but a shorter-than-average leg length. Another pilot might have a big chest but small hips. Even more astonishing, Daniels discovered that if you picked out just three of the ten dimensions of size â€” say, neck circumference, thigh circumference and wrist circumference â€” less than 3.5 per cent of pilots would be average sized on all three dimensions. Danielsâ€™s findings were clear and incontrovertible. There was no such thing as an average pilot. If youâ€™ve designed a cockpit to fit the average pilot, youâ€™ve actually designed it to fit no one.
This is similar to material that I have read in some copy-writing books recently. Target a specific person and not to a general audience for a product.
Here is the book mentioned.
A true genius! He had a difficult time in the last few years but he did produce magic with the others in Earth, Wind & Fire.
Here is one of the best – Let’s Groove
Steeri becomes Roger Studio