I think that far too many people are taking too many notes on sources that deserve barely a passing glance. I think I’m one of those people so let’s talk about the bottom of the book pyramid.

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3 responses to “The Bottom of the Book Pyramid”

  1. Thomas Vander Wal Avatar
    Thomas Vander Wal

    I agree with the pyramid approach and rough have followed this for decades, but I also read differently as reading in a well read / known subject / domain I will gut books. Gutting books is reading for what is new or different from what is already read elsewhere or known. Gutting can also be focussing on just chapters (after reading front matter and early foundation chapters to get a sense of its focus or perspective shadings. If digging in from a chapter or even from an index and skipping prior in the book to understand the framing and pull out what is needed.

    I picked this up when studying in England and would have one or two papers to write each week after reading to learn the focussed subject that week on my own. Many times there was no way to get through volumes of content, so was taught how to gut books in the preparation sessions prior to the term starting. It has been insanely helpful in life.

    The understanding what is valuable to read gets tough. Gutting has a decent approach to it, but often value that is understood come quite a ways after the initial reading and note taking.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      I’ve never heard of that technique before. I should apply it to my own reading.

  2. […] notes on books that simply don’t matter so that we can be “good” note-takers. I wrote about the book pyramid for members this […]