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How to Actually Read a Book in 3 Hours

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Imagination from open book

Bite the bullets (A quick summary if you don’t want to read the whole article)

  • A book is a set of resources, some parts more valuable than others.
  • It’s okay to skip parts.
  • Rather than going down one specific rabbit hole at a time, get a broad understanding first and increase details only as necessary.
  • You can stop when you have reached the amount of information you need.
  • The mindset you should to adopt is: “I am going to do the minimum effort to achieve the goal of each step.”
  • You don’t need to wander the whole forest, just get the coins and the pot of gold.
  • This is a way to map out where the gold is.
  • When reading for speed, start with the lowest hanging fruit then work up from there.
When reading for speed, start with the lowest hanging fruit then work up from there. Click To Tweet

What this is and where it came from

If I want the contents of a book in my brain without spending 10 to 20 hours slowly reading every word, I do this in about 2 to 4 hours. I’ve heard the term “power reading,” but now I just think of it as eating the book quickly instead of savoring every page.

I learned how to do it in college when I had procrastinated in one of my classes. I had pushed actually reading a very dense book to the last night. I was supposed to be doing the last edits on a well crafted essay due the next day. Rather than just “finish essay” as my homework, I had the hefty work of “read book, start essay, finish essay” on my plate. I had about 14 hours to complete this task.

I simply didn’t have the physical time to read the book. After a lot wheel-spinning, reasoning, self-admonishment and searching the internet for “how to speed read,” I was forced to just do the best I could. I was resigned to writing an incomplete essay, getting a C in the class and living my life as a mediocre human. Then something dawned on me. It was the structure of the book itself. Some poor schmuck was sitting in front of the computer trying to organize their thoughts into a book at some point, and what was in front of me was the finished product. Some of their choices probably started with a notepad and a list of points they hoped to get across. I really just wanted that list of points and just enough information to support them. From that, this system was born.

I mentally deconstructed the book into smaller and smaller parts. Then, I prioritized each part by importance based on what the book was supposed to be about. After that, I wrote a summary of each of my defined parts, fleshing them out on further passes. It’s simple as that. If that’s all you need, then you can stop reading now! I just explain how to do all that below.

The core skill set in reading a book in 3 hours is not actually reading; it's prioritizing. Click To Tweet

The core skill set in reading a book in 3 hours is not actually reading; it’s prioritizing. You’re going to be reverse engineering the structure of the book. To do this, imagine you’re going to write about something you know a lot about. How would you tell a friend about it? You’d probably make a point, and then give an example. That’s what a chapter is. A big point (or a few) and then a ton of examples to prove the point. Same thinking, but imagine you have to write the book you want to read.

Which brings us to the first step.

Step one: Set your goals! What’s your goal and what is the author’s main point?

Before you even begin, you need to organize the parts of the book, as well as your approach to reading it. If the book is straightforward, the overarching point of the book should be written right on the back or the inside sleeve. That’s going to have the highest density of info about the book.

Bust out a notepad or a computer and write the overarching point in a sentence on the top of the page in your own words. This is your North Star. Remember, you still have to the hard thinking and figure out what’s the point of the book. It can be phrased as a question which will be answered or as a simple topic, either way, it’s better to be as specific as you can be.

Additionally, you’re going to want to do some strategizing. You want to set the rails to keep you on track. This part is the most tailored to you. Everyone should interrogate themselves before starting with at least these questions:

  • Why did the author write this book?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Why am I reading this book?
  • What is the author’s main point?

After that, you should write out or think of specific questions you want to answer. If you’re reading for some class, there are probably things that you need to know or answer for the class. If you’re reading to learn about a specific topic, write what you are curious about. This will be another help in the ruthless prioritization. As you begin, you should only read something in full if it moves you towards your North Star of the author’s main point or if it answers a critical question.

Step two: Make a map! What are the key ideas covered?

Now we dive into the table of contents. This is going to be your map of the book. If the book doesn’t have a contents section, you’ll have to do a bit more digging for the same effect. What you’re getting is the outline the author hung the flesh of the book on.

If there is a front index: write each chapter title with a good amount of space below each for notes. Make a note next to the title you wrote down whether it’s a long or short chapter (Or even the exact page count). Start priming your brain to wonder at what each of the chapters is about and write that down too.

If there is no front index, or no chapter titles: You’re going to make your own titles! To do this, you will have to actually do some reading. Start with the first sentence and the last sentence of the the first paragraph of each chapter. Come up with what the chapter is about and write that as a sentence.

If you can’t figure out the thesis of the chapter from that, it may not be the best written book. You’ll have to move to the second paragraph. Do the same thing: first and last sentence. There is a great shortcut we’ll need later anyways, but every chapter after the first should end in summarizing the chapter, and then introducing the next chapter. So if it’s very unclear what the chapter is about from the other places, look in the last sentence of the chapter before.

Once you have these titles written out, take a little thinking pause to try to understand how they point to your North Star. You should write down or think of any questions each chapter might answer. This is getting your brain ready for the battering. The better you understand how the chapters fit together with the main thesis, the faster you can blast through the whole book.

Step three: Prioritize your journey! What order do you read in?

After following the last step, you should have a rough idea of what this book is about, and how you’ll flesh out what the pieces are. This is when you’ll decide what order to read the book in. Navigate the map of the book you already created. There are a couple of strategies to deciding order. No matter what, you want to tackle the sub-points in order of importance, but how do you determine that without having read the book?

The first hint is chapter length, and the second is how well you can infer what’s in the chapter just from the title. Then you want to start with the best chapter first, using what you’ve learned from that to help to more quickly understand the more complicated chapters.

After reading the chapter titles in the context of each other, and seeing which are the longest, rate them on a scale of how well you understand them just from the title against length. A longer chapter means that the author had more to say about that topic, which isn’t a perfect correlation for complexity, but it will have to do.

For example, an ”easy” chapter might be “How to jog, 20 pages” since it’s a short chapter and you probably have a good idea of how to jog. Likewise a “hard” chapter might be “Nuclear Power Plants and their Effects on Russian Economy, 100 pages,” at least for me since it’s long and I have no idea how to start thinking about that. Medium could be anywhere in between with the weight on how well you can infer the information from the title. Also, what weird book has both of those chapters?

Step three and a half: Read the index

This part is a bit of magic, which plays on how our brains work. If there is a back index of terms, take the time to read every single term. Don’t skim this part. Actually read every term and even say them out loud. Don’t focus on understanding or noting which page they are on. Just read the terms.

Without getting too deep into it, this allows your brain to pause with recognition for a split second when you are speeding through the chapters when one of these terms comes up. It improves your ability to skip the unimportant words later on, and capture the important ones.

Step four: Read! Skim wide and read only when necessary, then repeat.

This is the most time consuming part. You’re essentially using a smart strategy to skim for the highest rated information. There is only so much you’re going to remember from any book and you’re trying to get that important stuff without over-reading things you’ll forget anyways.

Look back at the list you came up with. Start at the highest ranked chapter and dig in with the sole purpose of answering the main question of the book, your North Star, and the sub questions for that chapter.

On the very first pass, if there are subsections, write them each under the chapter headers. If they are not labelled but are clearly subsections separate from the other parts of the chapter, write your own subtitle.

Next pass, skim the chapters by reading the first and last sentences of each paragraph by section. It will be really clear (assuming it’s a relatively well structured book) which sections are making a point and which serve as evidence of a point. If you find that there is a series sentences mentioning one thing over and over, go back and read the paragraph introducing and defining that thing. Do this high level pass for each chapter by rank, taking notes relevant to your important questions.

There is a really important optimization in actually reading: as soon as you realize something isn’t serving to answer your questions or support a point, skip to the next chunk. For instance: If, on the second pass—reading the first and last sentences of the paragraphs—it’s clear the intro sentence that the paragraph won’t help you, don’t read the last sentence either. Just skip to the next paragraph. If you already have an example for a new point, move to the next major point.

You can repeat this skimming process as much as you need answering all of your questions. You should quit a section as soon as you have an answer to the core questions associated with it and some evidence to support it.

I’ve found there is some finesse to the strategy here: you’ll start to notice patterns in the author’s writing that will tell you what they think is important. It’s really dependent on the book or author but an example might be starting several paragraphs in succession referencing something they mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. I can go back and read that whole paragraph and then skip all those sections where they reinforce the concept.

Step 5: Post reading and pro tips

If you’re reading to learn something, read your notes in full once you’ve written them out. That is the best time to reinforce the condensed info you’ve pulled from the text. There is a chance you may have missed something in the skimming process, especially the first time you use this system, don’t shy away from other people’s summaries of the text as a resource.

Note that if you have more time, you can actually use this system to read the whole text of a book oriented towards learning what is inside rather than simply how the author presented. It turns out that it doubles as a really effective learning technique by adding more “skimming” passes until you’ve finished every section with notes.

Pro tip for analytics-heavy books: create your structure around understanding the figures, since it will be what the book is primarily about. After that, making sure you are focusing on the definitions of specific terms bootstraps the understanding of the concepts inside the book. An addition to this technique is to write a dictionary for the book as you go for term heavy books.

Finally, you can do this process with a break or a day in between each step. I don’t recommend stopping in the middle of a step because that incurs context switching penalties except for stopping between chapters during the last step, which is fine.

There you have it: the not-so-easy and not-so-fun way to condense reading an entire book into just a couple hours. Here’s a template that you can use to get started: https://sophonaut.com/2018/10/27/how-to-eat-a-book-template/

Good luck in your readings!

Clarifications, caveats and limitations

I should clarify something. There are two types of reading: reading for pleasure, and reading for information. This is solely for the second type and is not a fun way to read a book. You shouldn’t read Lord of the Rings this way. If you need the ideas in your brain fast, do this.

Second clarification: this isn’t just a cop-out to not read the book. This is a super-focused approach to smashing everything you need into a higher density and then smashing that into your head. I’m not promising you can read a book in a few minutes. I believe this is much harder mentally than reading the book from start to finish because it works by removing every passive part of the reading process.

Third, the limitations: this does not work for things like math, physics, organic chemistry or anything requiring practice to master the concepts. You can use this technique to absorb the theory parts of those types of topics, but you’ll still need to do the problems. (Sorry B.S. undergrads).

It works the best with physical books (slightly slower to navigate ebooks) and on books that make a specific argument. I.e. you can compress the proof of a fact, but you can’t compress the fact itself.

Read a Book Template

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Open book with letters flying out.

This is a helpful template you can copy into your favorite text editor and fill-in for each book you need to get through quickly. If you stumbled upon this without seeing the article that it goes with, this will make a lot more sense if you take a look here

Before you start

Questions everyone should answer:

  • Why are they writing this book?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What am I trying to learn from this book?
  • What is the author’s main point?

 

Specific questions you always want to answer:

 


 

Specific questions for this book:

 

  •  

 

 

Questions I can answer before I even start:

 

  •  

 

Step one: What is the author’s main point?

 

Northstar:

 

  •  

 

 

Step two: What are the sub-points?

 

Sub points as a list:

 

Step three: Order

 

Order you’re going to read the chapters in:

 

(Step three and a half: I read the index)

Step four: Read

 

Northstar:

 

Chapters and sub chapters:

 

New Bluetooth

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dull crowd with glowing woman standing out

A more secure and advanced method of sharing.

Push a button to broadcast.

Now the device is pulsing out to the world that it is available: it’s “discoverable.” If a nearby device is on the same frequency, both trade a series of keys allowing them to initiate the pairing process.  They are encrypted to be sufficiently complicated to limit errors and yet simple enough to be carried out in an instant. In the more advanced versions of this technology, the sets broadcasting their signal run algorithms that randomly iterate through recent topics in culture and the news until they happen to find a match.  Depending on the software, the pairing process can include a super advanced paraphrasing algorithm that actually summarizes the content of the topics; a certain number of keywords that were generated by each of the devices individually must match. This process is called “agreeing”. After the initial paring, the programming gets complicated.  As a final measure, a sequence of pre-programmed security questions initializes. These questions allow each of the devices to let down their firewalls and sync. Now they are paired. Their actions directly affect the other through the ether between them. They use voice commands to increase something called “heart rate” and “levels of serotonin.”  Using physical interactive hardware they can vibrate the air to push “blood” through the other’s “veins”. With simple gestures, the devices can make each other feel complete.

There are still drawbacks.  If the distance between the two increases or the software on one device changes, the link can falter.  It’s common to have errors in signals where the gestures are not recognized; the voice commands do not elicit a response.  In some cases they just lose enough charge for the signal and it fades away completely.

Connection lost.

The Diary of Priscilla Pernilla

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Woman looking out at sea

March 3, 2003

Dear Diary,

My name’s Suzy and I like Earl Gray tea.

Okay, my names not really Suzy, it’s Priscilla. Yea, Priscilla Pernilla. With a C. I tell people my name is Suzy and people call me Suzy. I do that cuz I think my real name is silly. But I can tell you Diary. My name is Priscilla Pernilla and I like Earl Gray Tea. I have a little brother named Cameron, but he’s only 5.

P.S. it’s my birthday today! That’s why I got this Diary. You’ve got a peecock on you because there my favorite. I’m 11 and I’m smart but not a good speller.

Love, Suzy

 

March 5, 2003

Dear Diary

I met a boy in the park today who was crying. He wasnt even wearing a coat or an umbrella or anything. I asked him why he was crying and he said it was cuz he dropped his ice cream. I asked him why he was eating ice cream in the rain and he said it was cuz it makes him happy. But he wasnt happy when I met him so I said I guess ice cream doesnt make you happy. I wanted to make him feel better but he got more sat.

 

March 6, 2003

Cameron went in my room and broke Shelby Pony! He broke her right in half! Mom and dad aren’t even going to punish him because they say he did it on accident. Sometimes having a brother is the worst.

 

March 7, 2003

Dear Diary

Someone in my grade found out my real name. Then I got teasd. This is the worst day ever. I cant even talk to you right now. They called me Prissy Priscilla and made fun of me for.. I got to go. Sorry Diary. It will be better tomorrow because its the weekend.

 

March 11, 2003

Dear Diary

I like someone. Yea, like like. Its actually the boy who I met in the park. Hes not in my class, but hes in Mr Fausts class. He is in my grade  and hes really funny and smart. He likes the same things as me and his favorit color is green. We are the same age but I am older by a quarter of a year.

Hes still a boy though so hes still gross. But I like him and I like how his sweater smells. His name is Carlos.

 

March 12, 2003

Dear Diary

Carlos and I played at recess AND lunch today. He smiled back at me three times so I guess things are pretty serious now. I told Sara and she said she is gunna ask his best frend if he likes me too. I cant wait.

 

March 13, 2003

I am drinking earl gray tea right now. It is so yummy. I asked my mom why they call it earl gray. She said that an earl is some kind of english man. I asked what an english man is and she said its a man from englad. I asked why they added a gray at the end but then she got mad at me so I stopped. She said I think to much and I wanted to say maybe she just doesnt think enuff but I didnt cuz I dont want to get in truble.

 

March 14, 2003

Its the weekend! Yess!! Today was so good. At the end of the day Sara told me that she told Jeremy to ask Carlos if he likes me and to write it down and give me the paper on Monday. Sara is coming over to spend the night tomorrow so I have to clean my room. Ugggg. But its okay because its the weekend and this was a good day. Yea.

Love, P.P.

 

March 15, 2003 WEEKEND EDITION

Dear Diary,

Sara and I are both writing in you tonight!

Hello!

Hello!

How are you today?

I’m fine thanks! And you?

I am well good sir!

Thank you maam!

We are going to watch a movie now so we will see you next sleeeep ovverrrrr! WOOOO!

Love Suzy and

Lover more Sara

Love Most Suzy

Love Mostest Sara

Love Mostestest Suzy

Love Mostestestestestest Sara

Love Mostestestestestestestestesest Suzy (Sara left this morning, I win)

 

March 18, 2003

Dear Diary,

I know you wanted to here about about Carlos on Monday, but I fear the worse. 🙁 Carlos didnt give me a note and didnt even play with me on monday. What does this mean? *Sigh*

I was sad at dinner and I told my parents what happened cuz they asked why I was sad til I told them. My dad said its okay because mexicans smell like beans. He lafft but mom didnt laff.

I got mad because he lafft and said Carlos doesnt smell like beans and hes not mexican! I dont even know why I was mad but I didnt like it. If Carlos is a mexican then I wish Im a mexican to.

 

March 19, 2003

Dear Diary,

I saw Carlos and Jennifer holding hands. Its okay because Im totally over Carlos and everyone knows Jennifer is a bitch. I learned that word from Toby. It means female dog, but really means a mean person. I think that dad is a bitch sometimes to.

I dont need boys in my life right now I just want to focus on my grades. Whats the big deal about boys anyways? I still think there gross. No exceptions.

Love, P.P.

 

March 20, 2003

Dear Diary,

I asked mom after school if we arnt mexican, what are we? She said swedish or something. She was crying but wouldnt tell me why. Sometimes when you ask people questions they just give you more questions with their answer.

Notice: Their, not there. That’s called a homophone. I learned about it today. There, they’re and their all sound the same but are different. I feel like we learned it in 2nd grade, but we really learned it now.

 

March 21, 2003

Dear Diary,

Its SPRRRRIIIIINNGG BREEEAAAAAKK. WOOOOOOOO! I dont no why easter break is so far away from easter this year. Its going to be so much fun! Sara and I are going to do so many things. We’re going to eat chocolote most because there is a festival in the park for kids only where we find eggs and eat chocolate.

Love, P.P.

 

July 22, 2003

Dear Diary

I’m sorry I forgot about you since Spring Break. I have been busy packing boxes. I didn’t want to, but we are moving far away from my dad to California. Im really really really really sad Sara is not coming but mom says I will get to see her when we visit. I dont think she is telling the truth.

I like Eugene. Im gonna miss it here. I even asked my mom how to spell it thats how much I like it here. Sara and I cried for what felt like forever when I told her I had to move. My friends at school are all sad too. Even Carlos came to say goodbye to me. We ended up being friends too.

Goodbye Eugene, I will always love you.

P.S. I graduated from 5th grade! When I start school in California I am going to be a middle schooler. I hope I can make friends.

Love, Suzy

 

Sept 11, 2005

Dear Diary,

Obviously I haven’t been keeping up with my entries. I feel so embarrassed reading what I sounded like as a little kid. Now I’m a teenager, not a kid. My shithead stepdad made me get braces. I guess that’s not fair to call him a shithead since he is so nice to my mom. He is dumb as a fucking post though. But hey, we have to live, right?

Kevin is my younger step brother. He’s a shithead too, a little shithead. But I feel sorry for him so I’m mostly nice to him. He and Cameron are friends. That’s nice I guess.

So there is something I wanted to talk about.

Today is the Fourth Anniversary of 9/11. I know it’s crazy! We talked about what a huge deal it was in school, but it’s pretty abstract to me. (Abstract means that it exists mostly in our minds).

Speaking of crazy, I was reading some people are starting to think that it was a conspiracy. They say the jet fuel wasn’t hot enough to cause the buildings to collapse. I don’t believe that, but it’s scary to think that the government might have the power to do that.

Life is good. I am in Eighth Grade. After this year, I’ll basically be an adult in high school. I’m starting to grow boobs and I had my first period. I don’t know if that’s gross to write in my diary or not. I mean it happens to all of us, so why is it such a big deal?

Oh yea, and boys. Where do I even start? There is this one boy, Steven who is super into me, but I don’t even know. He’s cute and all, but I don’t know if I like him or not.

Then there is Tyler. He’s an absoulte GOD. My best friend Selenia (she’s black, take that dad) says he’s out of my league, but that’s just how she is. She’s hilarious. I love her to death. We’re going to be best friends forever. Muah,

Love P

 

March 3, 2006

Dear Diary,

I’m 14. Yay.

-P

 

March 3, 2008

Dear Diary,

I guess it’s supposed to be a sweet sixteen, but there is nothing sweet about it. I’m just so fat and gross, no one is ever going to love me. I can’t believe that Kyle dumped me right before my birthday. It’s my sixteenth birthday, it’s supposed to be special.

I don’t even know what I’m writing. What am I even saying?

Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you! Fuck you Kyle! I hope you die!

 

March 4, 2008

Dear Diary,

I feel like I should apologize for my outburst last night. You didn’t deserve that. Selly, Tiffy, my family and I had a really nice dinner after I stopped crying. I was really happy they were all there for me. I guess it was a good thing since I probably would have thrown this diary out if I hadn’t torn up my closet in my fit last night.

Wow! I just looked through the pages and I was right back then! Selly and I are still BFFs. We added a new addition to the Angels since we started high school. Tiffany. We’ve been friends together since middle of Freshman year. Now we’re Sophomores about to be Juniors. Freshman look so young now.

I’m just so mature now I can’t help but realize how immature people like Kyle are. I think he dumped me because he couldn’t handle my maturity.

Funny coincidence: Selly started dating Tyler from middle school. I had such a big crush on him back then. I’m totally fine with it now and not at all jeaulous. He got less hot in high school.

I guess I’m single again. Watch out boys, Prissy is back on the market! High school is okay I guess, once you get passed all the immature dumbasses.

Love,

P

 

June 1, 2010

Dear Diary

I am going to be graduating from High School today. I thought it would be interesting to capture how I feel. I’m a little nervous. I’m going off to college in the Fall, so this is my last hurrah as a High Schooler.

I’m technically an adult now but what does that mean? I can vote. I can buy porn magazines (do they even sell those anymore?) and cigarettes. I don’t like either of those things and I don’t really see the point in voting. The whole thing is pretty much rigged.

I’ve got so much ahead of me now and I am just counting my blessings that I got into UCLA! The biggest name in history out of Buttfuck Nowhere High School in Roseville, CA is Molly Ringwald. You know with the prolific acting career? Oh wait, that was back in the 80s. No disrespect to Molly, it just didn’t get much better after Sixteen Candles. (Who doesn’t love Sixteen Candles). Anyways if I sound a bit envious, it’s because I want to be the biggest name out of Roseville. I’m planning on studying film in college.

P.S. I forgot to mention Tiffany got into Berkeley and Sel got into Stanford. THE Stanford. My friends are so smart! I’m so proud of the Angels. We had a huge acceptance party. I’m jealous they’re going to be near each other, but I can’t wait to be in a big city all on my own.

 

March 3, 2014

This diary was in my things at Mom’s house. She brought my leftover stuff in a few boxes when she moved. Boy, I thought Roseville was bad, but divide Roseville by ten and you get Placerville. I guess she and Todd really like the “-villes” and wanted to downsize now that the house is empty.

I’m filled with a sense of ennui and I’m about to graduate from college. College has not been as exciting as I thought it would be. UCLA is extremely overrated, but I guess it’s been an overall good experience. It changed me in some ways that I like and other ways I don’t. I just feel like I paid with a piece of my soul, which I didn’t know was part of the price of admission.

There are so many things no one tells you about when you get into a school, just that it’s going to be so good when you do get in, and that you’re going to love it. I didn’t end up studying film. It took me about a week to get sick of all the stuck up rich kids who “had a screenplay” they just knew was going to go big. I changed my major about a hundred times, and didn’t think until the very end that I would need to use my degree to get a job. I guess I’m not as smart as I thought I was.

I’m going to graduate with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Film. Like that’s a whole lot more useful than a BA in Film. I have no clue what I’m going to do. They say that most people don’t end up using their major in there careers. Why do we do majors then?

I’ve been in several relationships, but none too serious and I’m graduating as a strong independent woman entering her prime. I thought I would have a lot more decided direction by now, but I’m apprehensively looking forward to what the world has to throw at me.

Love

Priscilla

P.S. Mad props to my 11 year old self for taste on this diary. Bedazzled Peacocks are in. 😛

 

March 3, 2069

Dear Diary,

I found this sweet little journal today going through Killian’s things. Part of me hopes he didn’t read it, part of me hopes he did.

I don’t know how it ended up with his old text books, but I figured I would write one more entry just for fun. It’s strange to reflect on everything through the foggy lens of the past. The rose tint becomes warmer, the suffering we experienced stings so much less than when we first felt it.

I’m a 66 year old woman now. I’ve have a beautiful daughter named Aurnia who is finishing her medical residency in New York. She’s engaged to another doctor. I can’t imagine what their house is going to be like. When she comes home to visit, I don’t tell her that she eats spaghetti just like she did when she was seven years old. She’ll always be my little girl.

Killian is my son. He’s four years younger than Aurnia. He won’t listen to a goddam thing, just like me. He said “school is not a place for smart people, mom” and didn’t go back after he finished his second year of college. There was nothing I could do to change his mind.

It’s working out for him. He’s started writing plays when he was in school and now he is just amazing. I don’t always understand what they’re about, but he says ”they are all about what it was like to grow up in the Midwest of California.” He’s paying his own way and he’s happy as a clam, but I still worry about my baby boy.

My husband wanted to give them Irish names, even though neither of us are Irish. I’m so glad we did, they’re such pretty names. I poured my all into these two. I gave it my best, and I’m proud as a mother could be. Now that I’m stepping into the final third of my life, I feel so confident that my dreams are still in reach. The burden of the past is lifted, and I am free as a bluebird in the sky. I am Priscilla Pernilla, and Earl Gray is still my favorite type of tea.

Love, P.P.