How to read a textbook properly

This checklist is for textbooks, non-fiction books and/or technical reference manuals.

A checklist to read a textbook properly

  • Read the whole table of contents from top to bottom. Go to the back and read the glossary terms and the bibliography if there is one.
  • Flip through each page of the book from start to finish, quickly, just scanning each page to get a sense of what’s on each page. Don’t read anything at this stage, just skim.
  • Read any end-of-chapter notes, summary and/or quiz to determine what the most important themes or topics for each chapter are.
  • Go back to the beginning of the book and for those chapters that are of immediate interest to you, read every bold heading and sub-heading along with the first and last sentence of each paragraph in that chapter.
  • At the same time, stop to look at every illustration, photo, chart, graph, table or diagram and read its legend and/or accompanying caption.
  • Stop and take a 5-10 minute break before starting to study the chapter(s) of interest. Ideally, if time permits, you do it the next day to let the overview process sink in subliminally, subconsciously while you sleep (overnight).
  • When you’re ready (e.g. the next day), read the chapter(s) of interest and take notes as per my Speed Learning Video Program.

This textbook reading process will tap into the massive power of your subconscious mind, improving your ability to understand and recall information by as much as 30%!

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