Every One Who Loves Reading Should Read This Book
My original purpose of reading this book was to acquire the ability of extracting each and every piece of information out of any material through one and only one pass of reading regardless of how long that material was. The idea that either we as human being were born with that kind of ability(and it just needed to be activated somehow) or it could otherwise be developed through proper training was so ingrained in my mind that I'd never stop pursuing it. And it failed me.; as was pointed out by the author at the very beginning of the book, thorough understanding required thorough reading. Anyway, I didn't stop at that. And it turned out that I would have missed a great book if I'd ever stopped.
Instead of equipping me with the aforementioned ability( actually, I would like to refer to that not as ability, but as magic), it brought me a big picture of the structure of the culture of humanity, viewing in different perspectives, from ancient to modern times, from science to philosophy. However, some ideas seemed to be outdated. For instance, the author thought that if one wanted to know something about what our age was all about, he should have some understanding of what mathematics was, and of how the mathematician operated and thought. It might be still true, but more relevant if we substituted computer science with mathematics, and computer scientists with mathematicians.
Part of the purpose of writing this book was to give some suggestions on reading Great Books of the Western World. But the skills it taught also applied to general reading. So I did improved my reading skills. Anyway, when looking back, I find it quite ridiculous that comparing with what I really got out of the book, what I meant to get turned out to be just the icing on the cake.