Why Reading and How

October 13, 2019

Sipreads has been featured on Product Hunt yesterday. We managed to become #2 Product of the Day and get our first 200 newsletter subscribers. We also had our first affiliate sale. How can we go further?

For smart consumption, text will always prevail over video or audio. Text has an alchemical potential no other format has. It’s also much harder to be proactive when you listen to a podcast or watch a video. Reading is still the most efficient way to acquire knowledge.

More than 2,000,000 books are published each year, but our lifetime is not expanding proportionally. It’s primordial to be radically selective when it comes to choose the books we read. It’s also important to get the most value out of what we read by adopting a proactive approach. Those are the two reasons why I started taking and sharing notes, and why I joined Ali to launch Sipreads.

Reading sustainably is not easy. I already wrote about how I study and how I read, but let me rewrite those in two paragraphs.

Notes have two objectives: 1) make what we read actionable and 2) ease the memorization process. Actionability is where the added value lies. Our memory is where our creative process stems from, where concepts mingle and new associations are born.

Reading is not linear. There are multiple dimensions to it. Read a book twice a year apart and your key takeaways will differ. Analyze a book while keeping its structure in mind and you’ll see it differently. Notes have to reflect this multi-dimensionality.

I use the SQ5R method to get a deeper understanding of the book. I then format my Q&A by using a Cornell Notes Taking System. Cornell notes help increase memorization and serendipity by proposing a clear structure. Cornell notes can be transformed into flash cards (Robert Greene’s favorite method to perform his research) and mind-maps to boost their effects.

Becoming a better reader is also becoming a better writer. Reading develops our empathy. It teaches us how to deliver more value while maintaining an enjoyable reading experience.

For all these reasons, I believe Sipreads has a bright future ahead. Now, what prevents you from reading more?