Monday, 26 December 2011

Do you consider yourself work in progress?

Do you consider yourself a work in progress or a finished product?How does  your belief on such issues as IQ and innate talents, affect you in different areas of your life?Professor Carol S. Dweck , Ph .D. of Stanford university  analyses this in her  246 pages long book called "Mindset:The new psychology of success" published  in 2006.I read it recently and found it simply written but very profound .You  can call it a self help book , because it helps us to understand the meaning and  importance of mindset and  what needs to be done to succeed in life .It is a book on psychology and success.But it does not talk about positive or negative attitudes or thinking.The book has eight chapters , three on what mindset is , and four chapters on the role of mindset in sports,business, relationships and parenting/education .The last chapter is on changing the mindsets.Key words are growth , mindset, belief , effort and ability.
The book has changed my thinking on mindsets , and has succeeded in convincing me that in all areas of life , the role and contribution of effort , persistence and resilience is far more important than those of ability and talent.It has helped me to understand the most direct way to succeed in  any chosen area of life.I do believe now that growth mindset leads to success in most areas of life.I also believe that mindset can be changed.
   Mindset is a belief about our qualities and abilities.Mindset is also a belief about what makes us successful .Carol divides mindsets into two types.Fixed mindset is a belief that our qualities , abilities and talents are in our genes and cannot be changed .Growth mindset is a belief that our qualities , abilities and talents can be cultivated ad changed by efforts, perseverance and resilience.Then there is a belief that success is mainly determined by our abilities.The opposite belief is that success is 99% hard work and innate talent contributes very little to it .You may win once with ability but to win over and over , you need character which comes out of growth mindset.Carol quotes John Wooden:"I believe , ability can get you to the top but it takes character to keep you there."In fixed mindset , you can win games .But to win championships , you need growth mindset.It is the growth mindset which changes life.

Our traditional belief is that Intelligence Quotient(IQ) is innate and hardwired .It broadly remains unchanged  in our life.But Carol quotes Alfred Binet, the inventor of IQ as below:"With practice , training , and above all , method , we manage to increase our attention , our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before."Our IQ is not fixed , it can be changed .The same is true of other abilities or talents .We need to change our belief that our abilities are fixed .We need to develop a growth mindset  ,or the belief that we can acquire any ability , including the artistic ability with training.In other words , we can become "smart"with hard work.There are no short cuts in life.Then success becomes a function of having a growth mindset.Mindset  affects all areas of life from sports , business, leadership , education , parenting to  relationships.
 It is not necessary that we automatically  have a growth mindset in all areas of life .We may have fixed mindset in certain areas of life and growth mindset in the remaining areas of life. We need to know  and analyze our mindset.Then we must change our mindset to growth mindset in those areas of life , where for the present it is fixed mindset.
This premise of the book comes up against the widely prevalent American  culture which values effortless accomplishment higher than achievement with efforts.Malcolm Gladwell , the author and New Yorker writer, "has suggested that as a society we value natural , effortless accomplishment over achievement through effort."The book says that you should be hardworking , even if you are smart /talented."The story of the tortoise and the hare, in trying to put forward the power of effort , gave effort a bad name.It reinforced the image that effort is for the plodders and suggested that in rare instances, when talented people dropped the ball , the plodder could sneak through"
I think , Asian  culture also(?) prefers effortless accomplishments , though I am not aware of any studies which might have been done in this regard , in any country of Asia.
The self-esteem movement also presupposes a fixed mindset .Carol's advocacy of  growth mindset , to some extent goes against self-esteem movement .
What is more important , brilliance /smartness/ability or effort/hard work/perseverance/resilience?Carol comes fully in favour of the latter(Growth mindset). There are no natural geniuses.Creativity is not magic. Becoming is better than being.It prefers" Doing the best "over "Being the best"Taking charge of process brings success.It accepts and embraces  challenges. Growth mindset promotes team work , persistence in the face of setbacks.It attacks elitism, and credits fixed mindset with being a loner .Growth mindset implies full and open discussion of all information, culture of self examination, open communication and team work.It produces perseverance and resilience , which are number one ingredient in creative achievement.A growth mindset person must address every criticism and learn from it.It finds lessons and inspiration in the success of others.In the event of failure, growth minded people take the blame on themselves while the fixed mindset people blame others."As you become a more growth minded person, you are amazed at how people start to help you, support you.they no longer seem like adversaries, out to deny you what you deserve."
We need to believe in growth mindset .Train our mentee in this mindset .Fulfill our own mission and the growth of our mentees.Mentoring and learning needs perseverance.
One important corollary of growth mindset is that when we recruit people to man important positions , we should select people with growth mindsets , and reject people with fixed mindset , however talented that may be .
One drawback of the book is that it does not tell how to switch over from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset .But Carol does suggest us to ask ourselves a few questions and try to find answers to these.What are the opportunities for learning and growth today, for yourself as well as for the people around you?Make a plan or a project to change your mindset and to grow, and act on these.Take steps to maintain and continue the growth.Develop or attend a workshop to change mindset from fixed to growth.Develop study skills , study strategies and new learning styles.
  I have been a student of motivation and have frequently delivered talks on motivation .When we discuss the role of praise as a motivator , we praise the ability and very rarely , we praise the effort .Carol says that we must praise the effort and the achievement , and not the ability .This may sound radical , but Carol backs it up with her research findings.It is an important and profound insight.I tend to agree with the author.
The role of ability or talent in success is over rated .A one time winning of Gold Medal , in a university or school , is not important  in the long term success in life.
Mindset plays an equally important role in relationships and love.Is chemistry more important than relationship skills , or the other way round? .A fixed mindset blames character flaw in the partner while a growth mindset tries to understand and encourages forgiveness.A fixed mindset , when it sees character flaws in the partner , becomes contemptuous of partner and dissatisfied with the whole relationship.Growth mindset sees conflict as a problem to be solved.However , Carol does not answer all questions in this area.Fixed mindset requires or expects a partner to have total or uncritical acceptance .Growth mindset requires /expects the partner to learn new things and become a better person .I am not sure , if expecting a change in partner really makes a relationship better .I feel , in the area of relationship , the growth mindset raises more questions than answers.What if one partner has a fixed mindset and the other a growth mindset?Perhaps a more thorough analysis is called for .But Carol is at her best when it comes to learning and education .She gives very inspiring examples of Marva Collins and Esquith.
About Marva Collins and Esquith  , Carol says;"Collin's students read and discussed every line of Macbeth in class.Esquith spent hours planning what chapters they would read in class.It takes enormous energy to plan a passage for each youngster.Esquith's class often met before school, after school and on school vacations to master the fundamentals of English and maths.His motto:"there are no short cuts'.'
Marva Collins has no doubt about the role of effort:"There is no magic here.I do not walk on water.I just love children and work harder than a lot of people, and so will you"Growth mindset motivates us to learn and improve, and make efforts.
In Seven Habits of highly effective People , Covey  also talks about responsibility .Responsibility comes with growth mindset only .
The book describes three model leaders with growth mindset;Jack Welch , Lou Gerstner,and Anne Mulcahy.All leaders need to have a growth mindset.There is a relationship between leadership and our capacity to grow and develop.

This book has been able to break many of my beliefs on some very important but obvious things .I have begun to see and admire people more on the basis of their efforts,achievements and honesty and less on the basis of their talents.I have begun to have more faith in intelligent hard work .I have stopped living under the shadows of trophies, gold  medals , awards that I happened to have won in the past .
Read it and see what this book does to you.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Lok Pal

The bill pertaining Lok Pal is being debated in Lok Sabha.Some of our Members of Parliament really spoke seriously and brilliantly in Lok Sabha .It gives some hope .The whole nation watches and waits for the outcome .
When I think seriously , I ask myself whether we really need another institution.Are the existing institutions not adequate?Is the problem in the institutions , or in our willingness (or otherwise) to make those existing institutions effective?I  am of the view that the crux lies in making  either the existing institutions effective , or creating a new institution which will be effective.I mean , which cannot be subverted .
I agree that the existing institutional structure has many  inadequacies, as also much needs to be done by way of increasing and strengthening our willingness to make it effective .It is therefore  not a bad idea to create a new institution , (though it amounts to admitting how inadequate we have proved ourselves to be ,on the issue of tackling corruption).But creating just ANY institution in a hurry ,  is a bad idea.We MUST ensure that it proves to be effective .This requires more detailed deliberation .Without this , I am afraid , we will do more harm to the cause of  curbing corruption.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The meaning of freedom

Infidel  by Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a living document  about freedom .It is real , gripping  , living , breathing and moving  autobiography of one of the greatest living women.It has inspired me in many ways .Every woman must read it , every man should read it.And I am sure that any person who reads this book can only feel inspired to accept and  espouse the cause of freedom , values  and self realisation .Hirsi Ali's life is her message.Hers is a journey from repression to freedom.Out and out , she emerges as a passionate champion of women's rights.
Some of the truths that Hirsi tells are uncomfortable , like  torture of female circumcision ,civil war , forced marriage  and death threats. Hirsi wrote this book  of 353 pages in 2007 when she was 38 years old. At that time ,she was under the threat of death .Her journey from Mogadishu(Somalia) to Saudi Arabia,Ethiopia, Kenya , Netherlands and to the USA  ,marks the remarkable evolution of a woman from repressed backwardness to confident liberation .It was a real  transformation.She broke the shackles of her past but it required a great effort She thinks with clarity and writes with precision .The impact on reader is deep and real .She leaves the reader with  admiration about her, and unease with self.She is a woman of undaunted spirit and courage .
Her life illustrates that religious tolerance should never come in the way of basic human rights.Real experience gives birth to our beliefs, and resolves.

Ayaan was  born on November13,1969. in Mogadishu ,Somalia.she has an elder brother , Mahad .She had a  younger sister Haweya , who later on died due to mental illness .She loved her father,Hirsi Magan , though later , she refused to obey him when she decided to divorce her husband ,selected by her father.Ayaan became a member of Parliament in Holland in January ,2003.

She describes the  custom of female circumcision with disarming directness as follows:"In Somalia, like many countries across Africa and the Middle East,little girls are made "pure" by having their genitals cut out.There is no other way to describe this procedure, which typically occurs around the age of five.After the child's clitoris and labia are carved out, scraped off, the whole area is often sewn up, so that a thick band of tissues forms a chastity belt made of the girl's own sacred flesh. . ."
Her father  escaped from jail into Ethiopia and met her mother clandestinely in Saudi Arabia.Her father found a job in Riyadh , and her mother moved with children to Mecca.They were deported and asked to leave Saudi Arabia.The family moved to Ethiopia.This was in 1979.After living in Ethiopia for about a year , her father decided to move the family to Kenya.They flew to Nairobi in July , 1980.Nairobi was a place exposed to the west , and it is here that "an entire   world of Western ideas began to take shape."She read Charlotte Bronte,Jane Austen , and Daphne du Maurier.Meanwhile , her father married some other  woman and her mother had to be dependent on others to bring up her children.This had a deep impact on Ayaan ."I told myself that I would never let this happen to me.I would never be dependent on any one in this way"
She was forced by her father to marry Osman Moussa.But that first afternoon on Bonn(On her way to Canada to join her husband) a new idea crept upon her that she did not even have to go to Canada , the place of her husband Osman Moussa.She knew that another kind of life was possible.It was Friday , July 24,1992, when she stepped on the train to Holland.It was her real birth day , when she was born as a person making decisions about her life on her own..She changed her name from Ayaan Hirsi Magan to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Later,she got a pink card to stay in Holland for the rest of her life as a recognised refugee.
She decided that she had a right to rule her own life..She was determined not to lie.When some elder asked her why she was divorcing her husband , she said ,"It is the will of the soul.The soul cannot be coerced.".Her father said that she had disgraced him.But her mother was kind."I needed my belief system to be logical and consistent".She had a great respect for truth.If what she said was true, she was not going to apologise for the truth.
She decided that she wanted to study political science.She enjoyed reading various subjects."It was such a privilege to watch people thinking,page after page.Every thing in the books was so beautifully put together,so rational.We learnt to define ,, to think clearly about what we were saying, to set out our thinking in building blocks and argue with data..In this way , we improved on older theories and expanded our understanding of the world".She graduated from Leiden in September,2000.She became a junior researcher with Labour Party."I found myself discovering my opinions as I typed."I had left God behind years ago.I was an atheist.There are no absolutes .Progress comes through critical thought" .She wanted to be like Popper: free of constraint,recognising greatness but unafraid to detect its flaws.She accepted every invitation to speak.She was and  is very fond of buying crate loads of books and reading them and thinking about what she read.

It was Neelie Kroes ,a prominent politician from Liberal Party, who  influenced her to shift from academia to active politics.She said that no matter how wonderful a PhD thesis AyaanAyaan could do with her life was expose the reality of those women's lives to people in power and make sure that  existing laws demanding equality between the sexes were applied.She should be in a combat of action,not ideas.She should stand for Parliament where she could truly have an effect on the emancipation of Muslim women and the integration of immigrants. .She became a one-issue politician in 2003.
As a politician , she could no longer have a normal relationship with journalists.She could not simply say what she thought,like an ordinary person .She was now a politician;the media ,rather than a source of information, was an instrument she must learn to use .

It is time for people who want to reform Islam to try not only speeches but also satire,arts , music ,videotapes,websites and books.She leaked bits and pieces of policy document, used aspects of it in other debates and gradually built a coalition .She knew it too well that "it takes a long time to dissolve the bars of a mental cage".Most of the organisations are comfortably bloated on subsidies and produce virtually no real programs .
She and the famous Amsterdam filmmaker Theo van Gogh made a film Submission :Part one in July 2004.Submission was aired on August 29,2004.On November2,2004, Theo van Gogh was killed  for his radical views contained in this film.

On May 15,2006,she was informed by the Justice department that due to the use of incorrect personal data during the naturalization process, the decree that naturalised her was declared void .She was evicted from her apartment due to  the reason that her presence made  the neighbours unsafe.
American Enterprise Institute offered her a job  from September,2006.On June 29,2006 , the Green Party called for a motion of no confidence in Rita Verdock  in Dutch Parliament.Rita had been responsible to set preconditions for Ayaan to get her Dutch citizenship back .The government collapsed and new elections were announced.
She  says that found in Holland freedom to think and freedom to express."Where I grew up , death is a constant visitor .A virus , bacteria, a parasite, drought , famine, soldiers , torturers could bring it to anyone , any time I feel privileged to be alive and free.Death comes riding on raindrops that turned to floods . . .For many women , because of the perception of lost honor, death comes at the hands of a father , brotheror husband .Death comes to young women giving birth to new life, leaving the new born orphaned in the hands of strangers."
"I  feel privileged to be alive and free.I moved from the world of faith to the world of reason-from the world of excision and forced marriage to to the world of sexual emancipation..I would like to be judged on the validity of my arguments, not as a victim."The values matter.If we face up to the terrible reality we are in, we can change our destiny.She ends the book with two powerful messages .:"We in the West would be wrong to prolong the pain of transition unnecessarily, by elevating cultures full of bigotry and hatred toward women to the stature of respectable alternative ways of life." and "People adapt.People who never sat on chairs before can learn to drive cars and operate complex machinery;they master these skills very quickly.Similarly , Muslims don't have to take six hundred years to go through a reformation in the way they think about equality and individual rights."

When I finished reading this book , I felt shocked .I had not known that even today ,in somalia and many other countries of the world , this modern world accepts , tolerates and is indifferent to the injustices meted out in routine to the little girls .One may or may not agree with all her views on religion , but she manages very successfully to provoke and question our basic belief structure.Partly by accident and partly by her authenticity and character , Ayaan Hirsi Ali changes you on many planes .

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

How to read a book by MortimerJ. Adler and C.VDoren

 About 130 years ago, Gustave Flaubert (Author of Madam Bovary) made the following remark,"What a scholar one might be if one knew well only some half a dozen books."To be a good reader has always been the aspiration of all great minds.
I realised very acutely the deficiencies in my reading skills  when I found that my comprehension of some of the great books had been really low .By  a stroke of chance , I  reread some of these  great books very slowly and analytically ,  and realised my mistakes.I am an ambitious reader but the time to read great books is just not enough , due to other demands on my time .You cannot buy time as you can buy books.This left me with the only option : To revisit the way I read books .I have realised that rapid reading need not be good reading .Also , wide reading need not be good reading. I also read Nabakov's "Lectures on Literature."I also understood with Nabakov(Author of Lolita) that to understand  and appreciate a master writer or a master artist , the reader should have and use imagination, intelligence and energy.The reader has to be deserving.I am aware that in the era of Kindle and e-books , printed books are fast losing the race, but even to comprehend and appreciate a creative work on the cyber space , you need a similar skills- set, similar mind and similar imagination.
Mortimer J. Adler wrote this book in 1940 , but it is needed more now than when he wrote it . This book is a living classic.It is long , with 426 pages , and is a serious work about proper reading .It has been translated into five languages,French,Swedish,German , Spanish ,Italian.
What really makes a good reader? Vladimir Nabakov answers this question as follows:"A good reader is one who has imagination, memory , a dictionary and some artistic sense. .. ."He also says that the best temperament for a reader to have , or to develop, is a combination of the artistic and the scientific one.This applies to the reader of fiction as well as science.The boundary between the work of fiction and work of science is not as clear as is generally believed.In fact , a good novel has the "merging of the precision of poetry and the intuition of science.".While there is a case of improving ourselves as a person , there is always a scope to improve in the art of reading .
As Nabakov says , one cannot  read a book:one can only reread it .A good reader , an active reader is a re- reader.When we read a book , the very process of learning stands between us and artistic appreciation.It is only on second or subsequent readings that we appreciate the book .

"How to read a book" describes the four levels of reading:
1.Elementary reading
2Inspectional reading
3.Analytical reading
4.Syntopical reading
Reading is an art.Our goal is to acquire higher levels of skill in this art.Reading skill is taught and learnt  in the schools   in the first six grades.But at that age and stage, we do not reach the limit of efficiency in reading .Often , we remain poor and incompetent readers.
The authors make it clear that good reading is not speed reading .The main purpose of good reading is to gain understanding  and appreciation  of the book .These rules of reading can be applied not only to books but also to newspapers,magazines , articles,pamphlets, and even advertisements.
Reading is active.It is less like receiving a blow and more like catching the ball in a game of baseball.Reading requires us to be alert and awake .We must not daydream while reading.
Books can be categorised into practical or theoretical books,imaginative literature(poetry,novels, plays, stories) or history, science or mathematics, Social sciences , philosophy, reference books , journalism and advertising.While the general rules of good reading remain the same , there are some differences when you read a fiction  or non-fiction .Fiction satisfies many conscious as well as unconscious needs of a reader.When you read the work of fiction, you have the experience that the author tried to produce for you by working on your imagination and emotions.There is magic as well as sensual imagery."The logic of expository writing aims at an ideal of unambiguous explicitness.Nothing should be left between the lines.Everything that is relevant and statable should be said as explicitly and clearly as possible.In contrast,imaginative writing relies as much upon what is implied as upon what is said.The multiplication of metaphors puts almost more content between the lines than in the words that compose them.The whole poem or story says something that none of its words say or can say."You do not look for terms, propositions and arguments in imaginative literature.
  It is necessary to read more than one account of the history of an event or period if we want to understand it.Similarly , in case of philosophy books , sometimes it takes years to read , and many reading and re-readings.
Reading has three purposes:
3.Understanding /appreciating
Understanding  and appreciating is the most important purpose.Our continuous education depends on books and reading them with understanding. To be widely read is not the same thing as to be well read.A person who reads too widely but not well is Literate ignoramus.He is at par with an ignorant person .
Reading is similar to listening .It is an active process.It is never effortless.Thinking as well as imagination is a part of reading.
 Inspectional reading is also called skimming systematically .You allow yourself a fixed time(say one hour) and within that time , you complete the book or part of the book .You can then answer the question'"What is this book about?"The main aim of inspectional reading is to discover whether the book needs a more careful reading.Some important steps in inspectional reading are as below:
1.Look at the title page and the preface .Read these quickly.
2.Study carefully the table of contents.
3.Check the index , the kind of books , authors and crucial terms appearing in the index.
4.Read the publisher's blurb on the jacket.
5.Look at the chapters that seem pivotal to its argument.
6.Thumb through the book .Read a paragraph or two , sometimes several pages in the last few pages .
Done in this way , inspectional reading can give a value for a reader.
Analytical reading is thorough and complete.In Bacon's words, it means "chewing and digesting " a book .
In syntopical reading , you read many books on the same subject and compare them.After comparing , you create an analysis of the subject , which may not be in any of the books.Syntopical reading is is the most active and most effortful reading.
We are expected to master our elementary reading in our primary and junior high school .If we have done so , we should begin a book with inspectional reading .A good inspectional reading will help us to decide whether we should go for thorough analytical reading .Finally , analytical reading of one book will help us to decide whether we should go for reading synoptically a number of other books on the same subject .
The preparation for an examination requires a synoptical reading on the chosen subject .
We need to institute courses in analytical and synoptical reading in high schools and colleges.Only the we can hope to become a nation of competent readers.
As the literacy spreads , we need more and more people to be trained in higher levels of reading .
Inspectional reading is done twice.First stage is systematic skimming.The second stage is superficial reading.In this , you read the book through at least once , before you do analytical reading ,pay attention to what you can understand and do not be stopped by what you can not immediately grasp.Concentrate on what you do understand.Superficial reading is the first necessary step in the interpretation of a book 's contents
Normally , inspectional reading is faster than analytical reading However , there is every need to read faster , depending on the material we are reading .One effective way to increase the speed is this;"Place your thumb and first two fingers together and sweep this pointer across a line of type, a little faster than is comfortable for your eyes to move Force yourself to keep up with your hand.You will soon be able to read  the words as you follow your hand.Keep practising this, and keep increasing the speed at which your hand moves, and before you know, it will have doubled or trebled your reading speed."
Concentration in reading means not day dreaming, and not letting the mind wander.Speed reading achieves concentration.But concentration alone does not lead to comprehension or understanding.Sometimes comprehension requires days, or weeks, or even years.Speed reading therefore, need not improve our comprehension and need not be given too much importance.
It is generally desirable to skim or do inspectional reading of even a book that we intend to read carefully, to get some idea of its form and structure.

The four questions a good  reader must ask are :
1.What is the leading theme of the book ?
2.What are the main assertions and arguments?
3.What does your own mind say about what the book says?Is what the book says true?
4.Is the book important to know?Will you seek what follows or is further implied or suggested?
Marking a book is an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author.Marking a book gives you intellectual ownership of the book.
Seven devices for marking a book are :
1.Underlining,circling key words or phrases, vertical lines at the margin.
2.Star or asterisk at the margin to mark the most important passages.
3.Numbers to indicate the sequence of points.
4.Numbers of other pages which make the same points or contradict them.
5.Notes in the margin, at the top, bottom and in the end papers at the back of the book.
6.The front end papers for a record of your thinking.
7.You can make notes during Inspectional reading also, not only during analytical reading.
There are three kinds of note making:
1.Structural notes at the time of inspectional reading .
2.Conceptual notes at the time of analytical and synoptical reading.
3.Dialectical notes at the time of synoptical reading.
The title of the book as well as the chapter headings need to be read carefully.
Analytical reading has 15 rules :
1.Classify the book according to kind and subject matter.
2.State what the whole book is about in a single sentence, or at most a few sentences(a short paragraph).
3Enumerate the major parts of the book in their order and relation, and outline these parts as you have outlined the whole.
4.Find out and define the problem or problems the author is trying to solve.
5.Find the important /key words and through them , come to terms with the author.
6.Mark the most important sentences in a book and discover the leading propositions that the author is making .
7.Locate or construct the basic arguments in the book by finding them in the connection of sentences.In other words , find if you can the paragraphs in a book that state its important arguments.But if the arguments are not thus expressed, your task is to construct them by taking a sentence from this paragraph ,and one from that, until you have gathered together the sequence of sentences that state the propositions that compose the author's arguments.
8.Find out what the author's solutions are.Determine which of his problems the author has solved and which he has not;and as to the latter, decide which the author knew he had failed to solve.
9.Do not begin to talk back until you have listened carefully and are sure you understand.You must be able to say with reasonable certainty,"I understand" before you can say any of the following things;"I agree", or "I disagree"., or "I suspend my judgement".
10.When you disagree, do so reasonably and not disputatiously or contentiously.
11.Respect the difference between knowledge and mere personal opinion, by giving reasons for any critical judgement you make.
12.Show wherein the author is uninformed.
13.Show wherein the author is misinformed.
14.Show wherein the author is illogical .
15.Show wherein the author's analysis or account is incomplete.
You should not read any commentary by someone else until after you have read the book .
Both inspectional and analytical reading can be considered as preparation for syntopical reading.The seven steps in syntopical reading are as below:
1.Create a tentative bibliography of your subject by recourse to library catalogues, advisers and bibliographies in books.
2.Inspect all the books on the tentative bibliography to ascertain which are germane to your subject and also to acquire a clearer idea of the subject.
3.Inspect the books already identified above in order to find the most relevant passages.
4.Bring the authors to terms by constructing a mental terminology of the subject that all, or the great majority of the authors can be interpreted as employing, whether they actually employ the words or not.
5.Establish a set of neutral propositions for all the authors by framing a set of questions to which all or most of the authors can be interpreted as giving answers, whether they actually treat the questions explicitly or not.
6.Define the issues, both major or minor ones, by ranging the opposing answers of authors to the various questions on one side of an issue or another.You should remember that an issue does not always exist explicitly between or among authors, but that it sometimes has to be constructed by interpretation of the authors' views on matters that may not have been their primary concern .
7.Analyse the discussion by ordering the questions and issues in such a way as to throw maximum light on the subject.More general issues should precede less general ones, and relations among issues should e clearly indicated.

 Syntopical reading pose the following paradox"Unless you know what books to read , you cannot read syntopically, but unless you can read syntopically, you do not know what to read".