The Strategist

Becoming an Advanced Reader

05/26/2015 - 17:00

Creatively thinking people constantly read: this way, they give food to mind in the form of fresh information and new ideas. As Gore Vidal told, the brain without self-top dressing eventually eats itself. Here some useful tips from the expert in a creativity, which will help pump up your mind when reading.

Be legible in reading.

Before starting on the book, think: Is this book going to be useful for development of my creative abilities? It is necessary to look through and glance over a set of books, but it is better to read selectively.

Do marginal notes.

In Mark Twain's biography, Albert Paine remembered:

- On the desktop, near the bed, on the shelves in a billiard room — books, which Twain read and re-read, were everywhere. Nearly every book was speckled by ihis marks — remarks on fields of pages, short comments. He re-read these books over and over, and every time there was something new to find.

Declare book contents aloud.

Try to do it before reading. Or, having read a half, stop and try again. Weigh roughly, what is possible to find in the book before you get acquainted with a table of contents. It was the favorite entertainment of George Bernard Shaw. And for you, it can appear a useful exercise on development of imagination. Read biographies - a well of valuable ideas. Read books of useful tips on the most different questions. Exercise mind, transforming another’s ideas in your own. Read books about cars and devices, joiner's business, gardening and others. Such books will prompt means for development of your own unique ideas and creation of new products.

Special magazines.

Walt Disney gathered many of the ideas from digests:

- Your mind can be defective, poor, inflamed, frozen, but a digest is something like a gym for imagination.


Getting acquainted with such literature, try to make out your own solutions of the considered problems before the solution is proposed by the author. It was one of hobbies of John Kennedy.


Think when read. Look for fresh solutions of old problems, novel ways in business, new tendencies of development, technical novelties, communications and making parallels with your problems. John Naisbitt, the author of Megatrends and the founder of Naisbitt's Group in Washington, the District of Columbia, quite successfully applied a method of definition of a tendency, which he himself called the analysis of the contents of the current information. Naisbitt borrowed this method from the book about Civil war in the USA. In turn, the historian who wrote this book gathered a lot of things from the analysis of collection of information of CIA. Well, and CIA copied the method from what allies in World War II used. They appreciated huge value of the provincial newspapers delivered by smuggling from the small cities of Germany. From time to time valuable data on fuel, food and many other were published there. And, in Switzerland, a small group of officers-scouts defined ways of movement of the German troops, reading the society column mentioning surnames of important military ranks.

based on 'Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques' book by Michael Michalko


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