For those of you who are not aware of it; Bill Gates is an avid reader. However, what impresses us, even more, is his capability of citing what he has read and the frequency of those citations. This brings us to the conclusion that he doesn’t just read a lot of books but rather also remembers what he has read quite well.
So, how does he do it? Bill Gates was recently asked the same question, and he explained that he has a very focused approach. To begin, Bill Gates states that you must get a comprehensive overview of the topic that you are reading about. This helps you understand where the different details that you will read about shall fit in.
In the words of Bill Gates, ‘If you have a broad framework, then you have a place to put everything. So you have the timeline, or you have the map, or you have the branches of science and what’s known and what’s not known. And so, incremental knowledge is so much easier to maintain in a rich way than, you know, the first time somebody is telling you about Rome. Why am I reading about Rome? Why am I reading about Queen Victoria?’
For instance, he talks about reading the history of scientists if you have a passion for learning science and understanding how knowledge has evolved over the course of years and how it all fits together. He has also backed a program that is known as big History – a free social online social studies course that is aimed at providing ‘a framework for all knowledge.’
Bill Gates says, ‘Getting kids a sense of how it all fits in early on will make it less, ‘Hey, there’s just a bunch of random stuff here that I don’t know where to put it in my head.’’ It sure sounds like a great way of reading stuff, what do you think?