My high school ACT math score was 35/36. Reading was 18/36. Really.
What went wrong? I thought it was genetic, but that doesn't make sense. The truth is I didn't know "how" to read. I didn't learn until AFTER graduate school.
Back in grade school, we were given books like broccoli... you MUST eat it first, then you can have dessert. What a chore. You don't get good at something you hate.
Another classroom observation: boys and girls were treated identically when it came to which books we had to read. As though some books didn't appeal less to boys and more to girls.
I will never forget the last book report I failed in 5th grade. It was about an 11-year-old girl and her horse, and how much she loved her horse, and how she wrote a song about her horse...
I had a lot of interests at 10 years old, but neither horses nor girls singing to their horses were included.
What changed after I finished graduate school?
1. I now only read non-fiction.
2. I gave myself permission to skip parts of books that don't appeal to me, or even entire books that I purchased (what's $20 compared to hours of my time?).
3. I only read topics that interest me.
4. I realized that just because the author is an "expert" doesn't mean their book is gospel truth.
Number 4 is a big one. Think critically, and question what you read. Compare new information to writings from other informed authors of opposing views. Find trends in wrong ways of thinking in an industry. Like the internet, don't assume it's true because it's in a book.
In the first three months of 2020 alone I read 11 books cover to cover with great enthusiasm. Toward the end of 2020, I slowed down to apply what I learned.
What's your reading like?