A Mind For Number – Learning How To Learn Book Review


Acquiring knowledge and learning became a passion of mine a couple of years ago. I would go around reading anything that I could lay my hands on, from Books and Articles to Signs and Boards in the streets. Alas, I was struggling with maintaining the things I learned. It seemed that only reading stuff wasn’t enough to expand your brain and be, well, knowledgeable. I grew quite frustrated and I almost gave up.. ALMOST. But I was saved.

Barbara Oakley is by far the best teacher I ever had and her story is as fascinating as her ideas. Before reading this book, I stumbled across her course on Coursera almost a year ago and it literally changed my life. While signing into the course, I didn’t expect to gain much out of it. I thought it will end up like most of the self-help articles, courses and books out there, but I’m glad I gave it a try and was proven wrong.

After finishing the course “Learning How to Learn” by this wonderful teacher. I came out with fresh eyes and a better understanding of how to make the most out of reading and learning. I noticed a huge change in the way I study. Whenever I’m talking to my friends about something I acquired, I was filled with glee and excitement on how concise and adequate I presented my findings.

I later picked up this book and devoured it like I devoured the course. It delves deeper into the concepts and techniques discussed in the course. Each chapter is packed with images, success stories and other people’s approaches to learning. You get sum-ups at the end of each chapter and one at the end of the book that sites all the good and bad habits of learning. There are even exercises to better acquaint you with them. Here are some of the ideas that this book addresses:

  • Recalling
  • Chunking
  • Using Diffuse and Focused modes and how to alternate between and use them.
  • Procrastination and how to deal with it
  • Memory and how to better make use of it
  • The best Tools to use

And so much, much more!

In my opinion, this book is a must-have for anyone looking to improve how they learn and grow. It is relatively short but compact with nuggets of pure information.