Reading Efficiently

by David Barker


Reading remains the most common and most important source of information for most people. Ever since the invention of the printing press in the west by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440, the volume of written material has exploded exponentially. And this trend has accelerated since the emergence of the World Wide Web a decade or so ago.

In today’s business world we are all faced with huge volumes of information that we feel we should read and understand. Examples include:

  • Newspapers – to keep up to date on current affairs
  • Magazines, including trade journals for industry news, developments and opinions
  • Books
  • Emails – possibly hundreds per day
  • Memos, though largely replaced by emails
  • Reports

This topic presents strategies and techniques for coping with this information overload. The solution is not just being able to read everything much faster, but a combination of selective reading and choosing the appropriate style of reading to suit the circumstances.