#815 Archeological Reading

← Aka How Twyla and I Read a Book

In our last +1, we talked about Twyla Tharp’s thoughts on reading and thinking.

Recall her comment that: “If I stopped reading, I’d stop thinking. It’s that simple.


Today I’d like to talk about HOW she reads.

I really like her perspective because it’s pretty much EXACTLY how I read.

And, well, people are always asking me how I read a book so let’s go with this wisdom as a perfect proxy to my process.

Twyla tells us: “When I’m reading archeologically, I’m not reading for pleasure. I read the way I scratch for an idea, digging down deep so I can get something out of it and use it in my work. I read transactionally: How can I use this? It’s not enough for me to read a book. I have to ‘own’ it. I scribble in the margins. I circle sentences I like and connect them with arrows to other useful sentences. I draw stars and exclamation points on every good page, to the point where the book is almost unreadable. By writing all over the pages, I transform the author’s work into my book—and mine alone.

That’s Today’s +1.

Here’s a nice bold pen for your archeological reading-digging!

🖊️ 📖

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