Reading a Book…


  • Get a sense of the book in 5-10 minutes.
  • Read the jacket copy & contents, skim preface & introduction, read conclusion (last 3 pages) and skim the index. Note publisher and date of publication.
  • Quickly page through the entire book at the rate of 2-3 seconds per page.
  • Determine if you want to read the book more thoroughly, give it away, or file it for future reference.


  • Skim the entire book at a slower rate (4-10 seconds per page), breaking the book in as you go.
  • Look for structure, outline, key facts and concepts.
  • Write a quick summary for the book in pencil on the title page.


  • Preview each chapter again before you read it to get the structure (4-10 seconds per page).
  • Read every word at fastest comfortable speed using a pointer so you won’t wander, hesitate, regress, or lose your place. Mark the margin, but don’t underline the text.
  • Write a 1-4 sentence summary in pencil at the beginning of the chapter.
  • Sketch a quick outline or recall pattern.

Post-view Immediately

  • Re-read the chapter quickly, focusing on marked sections, interacting with the text.
  • Refine your 1-4 sentence summary at the beginning of the chapter.
  • Review at regular intervals, looking over recall patterns and summary material.

Greg Koukl, from Ambassador Insights (booklet), p. 42

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