7 Ways to Remember More of What You Read

7 Ways to Remember More of What You Read

Spread the love

There are numerous advantages to reading more books, but one of my favorites is that a great book can provide you with a new perspective on your prior experiences.

When you learn a new mental model or notion, it’s as if your brain’s “software” is updated. Suddenly, you have the ability to run all of your old data via new software. You can learn new things from previous experiences. “Reading transforms the past,” says Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

Of course, this is only true if you absorb and remember the lessons you learned from the books you read. If knowledge is retained, it will compound. In other words, it’s not really about reading more books, but about getting more out of each one you do.

Of course, acquiring knowledge isn’t the only reason to read. Reading for enjoyment or entertainment is a great way to pass the time, but the focus of this essay is on reading to learn. In light of this, I’d like to share some of the most effective reading comprehension tactics I’ve discovered.

7 Ways to Remember More of What You Read
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

1.Quit More Books

It doesn’t take long to find out whether or not something is worthwhile to read. Writing skills and high-quality ideas stand out.

As a result, the majority of individuals should definitely begin reading more books than they already do. This does not imply that you must read each book cover to cover. The table of contents, chapter names, and subheadings can all be skimmed. Pick a part that interests you and plunge in for a few pages. Look over the book and look for any bolded points or tables. You’ll get a fair notion of how good it is in ten minutes.

Here comes the most important step: stop reading books as soon as possible, without feeling guilty or ashamed.

Life is way too short to squander it on mediocre literature. The cost of potential is far too expensive. There are many wonderful books to read. “Life is too short to not read the very finest book you know right now,” stated Patrick Collison, the creator of Stripe.

Here’s what I’d suggest:

More books should be started. Most of these should be avoided. The outstanding ones should be read twice.

2.Select Books That Can Be Used Right Away

Choosing books that you can implement right away is one strategy to increase reading comprehension. These are some of the finest ways to cement the concepts you read in your head is to put them into practice. Practice is a powerful tool for learning.

3.Make your notes searchable

Make a list of everything you read. This could be handled in any way you like. It does not have to be a wide manufacturing or a complex system. Basically, do something to draw attention to the key points and passages.

Depending on the medium I’m consuming, I do this in a variety of ways. Whenever I’m reading on my Kindle, I like to highlight key phrases. As I listen to audiobooks, I scribble down fascinating quotes. When I read a print version, I mark pages with my dog ears and write my notes.

The actual trick, though, is to save your notes in a searchable format.

There’s no reason to rely only on your recollection for reading comprehension. Evernote is where I keep all of my notes. I prefer Evernote to other choices because 1) it is instantly searchable, 2) it is simple to use across numerous devices, and 3) you can make and save notes even when you aren’t online.

I use three methods to get my notes into Evernote:

I. Audiobook: For each book, I create a new Evernote file and type my notes right into it while I listen.

II. Ebook: I use Clippings to export all of my Kindle highlights directly into Evernote and highlight sections on my Kindle Paperwhite. Then, before submitting it on my book summaries website, I add a synopsis of the book and any extra thoughts.

III. Print: I type my notes as I read, similar to how I do with audiobooks. I put the book on a book stand as I type if I come across a lengthier portion I wish to copy. (Taking notes while reading a print book can be inconvenient because you have to set the book down and pick it up all the time, but it’s the best option I’ve discovered.)

Your notes don’t have to be digital to be searchable, of course. You can, for example, use Post-It Notes to label specific pages for future reference. Another method, according to Ryan Holiday, is to keep each note on an index card and organize them by topic or book.

The basic theory remains the same: keeping searchable notes is critical for quickly returning to ideas. You can only use an idea if you can discover it when you need it.

4.Put Knowledge Trees Together

A book can be equated to a knowledge tree, with the trunk consisting of a few theoretical frameworks and the branches consisting of information. By “connecting branches” and combining your current book with other knowledge trees, you can learn more and increase reading comprehension.

Consider the following scenario:

While reading V.S. Ramachandran’s The Tell-Tale Brain, I noticed that one of his key ideas was related to a previous concept I heard from social work researcher Brené Brown.
Mark Manson’s concept of “dying yourself” intersects with Paul Graham’s article on keeping your identity tiny, as I observed in my notes for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
While reading George Leonard’s Mastery, I recognized that while the book was about the process of progress, it also shed some light on the genetics-performance relationship.
I jotted down each tidbit in my reading notes for that particular title.

These kinds of connections help you remember what you read by “hooking” new material to concepts and ideas you already know. “Once you’re in the mental habit of linking what you’re reading to the basic structure of the underlying ideas being demonstrated,” as Charlie Munger puts it, “you gradually accrue some wisdom.”

Allow that thought to come and go without noticing when you read something that reminds you of another issue or immediately creates a connection or idea. Describe what you’ve learned and how it relates to other concepts.

5.Create a succinct summary

I challenge myself to summarize a book in only three phrases as soon as I finish it. Of course, this constraint is merely a game, but it encourages me to analyze what was most significant about the book.

When summarizing a book, I ask myself the following questions:

What are the key concepts?
Which of the ideas in this book would I put into practice right now if I had to choose just one?
What would I say to a friend about the book?
In many circumstances, I find that reading my one-paragraph summary and reviewing my notes provides me with just as much useful information as reading the entire book again.

Consider employing the Feynman Technique if you can’t condense the entire book into three sentences.

The Feynman Technique is a note-taking strategy named after physicist Richard Feynman, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics. It’s pretty straightforward: Write the title of the book at the top of a blank sheet of paper, then describe the book to someone who has never heard of it.

If you get stuck or notice that you don’t understand something, check over your notes or go back to the text and try again. Continue writing until you have a firm grasp on the essential points and are secure in your explanation.

I’ve discovered that writing about an idea as if I were presenting it to a beginner exposes practically all of my thinking flaws. “I feel the greatest approach to figure out what I’ve learned from a book is to write something about it,” says Ben Carlson, a financial analyst.

6.Create an environment around the topic

I’m reminded of Thomas Aquinas’ remark, “Beware the Man of a Single Book.”

How sound is your beliefs if you only study one book on a topic and use that as the foundation for a whole category of life? What percentage of your knowledge is correct and complete?

Reading a book takes time and effort, but far too frequently, people base their entire belief system on a single book or article. This is more true (and harder to overcome) when it comes to basing our beliefs on our single, unique experience. “Your individual experience makes up maybe 0.00000001 percentage of whatever is happened in the world, but maybe 80 percent of how you think the world works,” Morgan Housel observed. We’re all skewed by our very own personal experiences.”

Reading a variety of books on the same subject is one way to approach this problem. Examine the subject from a variety of perspectives, examining the same issue through the eyes of numerous authors, and attempting to go beyond your own personal experience.

7.Go over it again.

To wrap up, I’d like to revisit a notion I mentioned near the start of this article: read the best novels twice. “Anything worth reading is not just worth reading twice, but worth reading again and again,” according to philosopher Karl Popper. Though after reading a book several times, if it is worthwhile, you will still be able to make breakthroughs and uncover things in it that you didn’t notice before.”

Rereading great novels is also beneficial because the issues you face change over time. Sure, you might notice something you missed the first time you read a book, but it’s more likely that fresh passages and concepts will be important to you. It’s only natural that depending on where you are in life, different statements jump out at you.

You read the same book over and over again, but never in the same way. “I usually return home to the same few authors,” Charles Chu observed. And no matter how many times I go back, they always have something fresh to say.”

Even if you didn’t learn anything new from each reading, it’s still worthwhile to return to outstanding literature because concepts must be repeated to be remembered. “Even though we only learn something once, we don’t actually learn it—at least not quite well for it to impact us much,” writes David Cain. It may inspire for a brief while, but it is rapidly overwhelmed by the decades of habits and conditioning that came before it.” Returning to outstanding ideas helps you remember them.

“A good book grows better at the second reading,” Nassim Taleb sums it up for all readers. At the third level, this is a fantastic book. Any book that isn’t worth rereading isn’t worth reading in the first place.”

What’s Next? Over time, knowledge accumulates.

“Learning one new idea won’t make you a genius,” I wrote in Chapter 1 of Atomic Habits, “but a dedication to ongoing learning can be transformative.”

Even if it provides a lightning moment of enlightenment, one book will rarely alter your life. The key is to grow in wisdom every day.

These are the 7 Ways to Remember More of What You Read.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *