The Four Levels of Reading: Improve Skills One Level At A Time

Alessio Frateily

Hatched by Alessio Frateily

Jun 08, 2024

4 min read


The Four Levels of Reading: Improve Skills One Level At A Time

"The Four Levels of Reading: Improve Skills One Level At A Time". My Hero, Charlie Munger, said it best “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.” One of the secrets to acquiring knowledge is to read. A lot Picking up a book and reading the words is the easy part. Reading to understand is much harder. The key is not simply to read more but rather be selective about what we are reading and how we are reading.

"Why Are We Building Glasp?". Kazuki (kazuki_sf_). I’m currently working for my second startup, Glasp community where people who are blazing in their industries gather and share their learnings as a utilitarian legacy with other people.

Reading is more than just a pastime or a means of entertainment. It is a crucial tool for personal growth and development. However, not all reading is created equal. There are different levels of reading that can help us improve our skills and deepen our understanding of various subjects.

The first level of reading is called elementary reading. This is where we learn to read the words on the page and comprehend their basic meaning. It is the foundation upon which all other levels of reading are built. Without this fundamental skill, we cannot progress to higher levels of reading. So, if you are just starting out on your reading journey, focus on mastering the art of elementary reading.

Once we have mastered elementary reading, we can move on to the second level - inspectional reading. This level involves skimming through a text to get a general idea of its content and structure. It is a quick and efficient way to decide whether a book is worth investing more time in. By practicing inspectional reading, we can save ourselves from wasting time on books that do not align with our interests or goals.

The third level of reading is analytical reading. At this level, we dive deep into the text, examining the author's arguments, identifying key concepts, and critically analyzing the information presented. This level requires active engagement with the material, taking notes, and generating thoughtful questions. Analytical reading allows us to extract the most value from a text and gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Finally, we reach the fourth level of reading - syntopical reading. This is the highest level of reading and involves reading multiple texts on the same subject and comparing and contrasting their ideas. Syntopical reading requires us to synthesize information from different sources, identify patterns and connections, and form our own conclusions. It is a level of reading that fosters creativity and original thinking.

The Glasp community, founded by Kazuki, aims to create a platform where individuals from various industries can come together and share their learnings. This aligns perfectly with the concept of syntopical reading. By bringing together different perspectives and insights, Glasp enables its members to engage in a form of collective syntopical reading, where they can learn from each other and expand their knowledge beyond their respective fields.

To make the most of our reading journey, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Be intentional with your reading choices. Instead of aimlessly browsing through books or articles, take the time to identify your areas of interest and choose materials that align with your goals. This will ensure that your reading is purposeful and meaningful.
  • 2. Practice active reading techniques. Whether you are at the analytical or syntopical level, actively engage with the material. Take notes, ask questions, and challenge the ideas presented. This will help you internalize the information and stimulate your critical thinking skills.
  • 3. Join communities like Glasp. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are passionate about learning can greatly enhance your reading experience. By exchanging ideas and insights with others, you can broaden your perspective and discover new areas of interest.

In conclusion, reading is a powerful tool for personal growth and development. By progressing through the four levels of reading - elementary, inspectional, analytical, and syntopical - we can improve our skills and deepen our understanding of various subjects. Platforms like Glasp provide a valuable opportunity to engage in syntopical reading and learn from individuals across different industries. So, let's embrace the power of reading and unlock the doors to knowledge and wisdom.

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