Not because I care how long it takes someone to read a book, but more because I'm interested in how people get the knowledge from a book (or I guess other sources) into their brains in the best, most efficient way.
Personally I take a multi-pass approach (from my answer to the original question):
- Skim through contents, dip in and read anything with an interesting looking heading and finally gawp at any nice diagrams and illustrations. I won't take much in at this stage, but it gives me a mental view of the book (an hour or so at most)
- First pass through the book, generally I'll read the opening chapters thoroughly for a book that is either very heavy going or introduces something completely new. For books that cover a subject I already know about I'll skim or skip bits that seem trivial. The remainder of the book I'll go through reasonably quickly but not so quickly that I'm just page flipping. (about a week)
- Not all books that I read make it this far, but if I find a book interesting or useful enough I'll then study it properly. I will go through the book at a slower pace and do some or all of the examples, try out code, etc. I will often skip entire chapters here unless the book is really good (1-3 weeks depending on the book).
- Finally when I've finished reading it and am reading other books I will often dip into it again and again to cross-reference, compare, look things up, browse, etc - so many of my favourite books don't just end up gathering dust on the bookshelf.
I rarely take notes when reading (although I may do some planning on paper if I'm working through something like a code sample). I've also considered starting to use a personal kanban for organising my progress, but have never quite got around to using that technique. Mindmaps are another thing I like the idea of but rarely do.
What other methods to people have? How successful do you find them? Are there any commonly recommended techniques that you feel are a waste of time?