Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reading Books Incrementally

I love reading books, but I enjoy incremental reading too much to read books, blog entries, etc. in the linear fashion they were intended to be consumed. The negative aspects of linear reading will be covered in another post soon. Until then, to make it easier to read books using Supermemo, I have found this to be particularly helpful:
There are many sites that allow you to create text documents of .epub and .mobi files. Here is one that I have been using: Whoosh.

After I first acquire the epub or mobi file and convert it to a .txt file, I copy and paste 10 or so pages into Supermemo (Too much text slows Supermemo down). I use the "picture article" template so I can put a picture of the cover of the book on the opposite side of the page (I have always been fond of book covers, album covers, etc.). I delete the text that has no value to me, highlight and extract sentences or paragraphs that might contain a flashcard, and keep doing this until I read the end of the text I copied over. After this, I copy another 10 or so pages, and then continue on.

Right now I am reading at least 10 books (Two of which are fiction), and I have thoroughly enjoyed this way of reading. If you haven't tried it, it is a very fun way to read scientific and historical books (Which is what I enjoy reading the most).

To summarize:
-Incremental reading is superior and more fun than traditional reading.

-Convert an acquired epub or mobi file into .txt.

-Only copy 10-15 pages of text at a time to prevent slowing Supermemo down.


  1. NOTE REGARDING FORMATTING ISSUES: I'm not sure if you are encountering formatting issues with this blog, but I am. When I view this post on an RSS feed, the text is white against a white blackground, meaning I cannot read the post. It is a mild annoyance to say the least. Tell me if you are unable to view what is posted here. If it is too big of a problem, I'll try to change the settings for the blog. Otherwise, I'll try to make due with what I've got here.

  2. Hi, I can't see any text in this post. Only by viewing the page source I could read it. And I wonder, what do you mean by "text that has no value to me"? You could cut out parts that might be of interest, no? Or do you kinda fast-read over the 10 pages and then deceide which parts contain junk?

  3. Sorry about the formatting, I reposted it again (I had problems viewing it in Google Reader because the text was white, and Google Reader's background is white...).

    I tried to answer your question in a post that I just now put up, hopefully it helps answer your question. I'm working on another post that articulates how I break an article down from Time magazine as an example. That should be up in a few days.