I am currently reading and listening to two very similar books; Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I read Freakonomics while waiting for my son at his tutoring class and listen to Outliers every time I get into my car. I’m not going to give a book review here, just let me say that these books are both worth reading. What I want to focus on is how I felt that reading two similar books at the same time is more effective then reading them on their own.
When I started Freakonomics I found it so fascinating. I think many of us come across these types of questions but we really don’t ask them, at least not in a way that motivates us to find the answers. Then I started listening to Outliers when I was in the car and found another source of questions that gave a different perspective on how we think about successful outcomes. Again, I was really excited about the information and I was truly loving the thought process it was activating in me.
What started to happen was I found I could not talk about either book because I was getting the information confused. Who said what? What research went with what outcome? I wanted to share the information I was ingesting but I just could not easily dis-entangle the content. So what I did was I spent time while enjoying one book, recalling the information that was similar in the other, while taking note of the details of the current. It was like having a conversation about the book with both authors.
What I found was I became more familiar with the content of both books, more intimate with the meaning and could more easily discuss my point of view of either. Maybe you are the type of person that can recall everything you read, but I’m an interpreter. I have to completely understand what I read if I want to remember it.
This was a great exercise in a different type of learning style. In business our clients have different types of learning styles and our marketing and sales have to be able to speak to them all. Being confused with someone that does what you do is not such a bad thing (unless they are complete idiots). It may make your potential clients understand you better.
This was a great exercise in a different type of learning style. I think I’ll have to buy my books in pairs from now on. I finished Freakonomics last night and will have to enjoy the remainder of Outliers on its own.