In 122 pages, Giant Steps focuses on ways to utilize a more thoughtful process in reading and learning, often using sports metaphors as a way to relate. In 29 chapters, 7 readings in the epilogue, and a listing of suggested readings, the book examines steps on how to read, write, proofread, and utilize knowledge including substance, functions, and images. These concepts allow a process to actively participate in learning. It uses examples of works by philosophers such as Socrates and Plato and books and documents such as The Maltese Falcon and The Declaration of Independence. Giant Steps also relates how to delve into a deeper understanding of reading through attentiveness, techniques for comprehension, and understanding context, as well as utilizing analytical levels for systemic learning.
The most pertinent chapters are regarding how to read a book, what professors are looking for in their students, and best ways to proofread. Interestingly, he suggests that students don't take notes in class in order to grasp the major concepts that are being examined. Another suggestion is to not spend more than thirty seconds on reading a page of text. While there are helpful insights, the book utilizes examples that are difficult to grasp unless the reader is familiar with the (sometimes obscure) writings, unrelated history lessons, and personal writings that are tangential to the topic. There are glimpses of ways to think creatively, and for those who like to get through reading/studying quickly, they will be able to relate to these tools. In summary, Stern notes that we are required to "fall in love with what you (we) are learning," which is a beautiful premise.