If you want to remember the contents of a book, (internalize its content, remember what you read), then you may find the following tips very useful…
Usually, when you read a book, you don’t remember as much as you would like to.
Why does this happen? The answer is simple.
To remember what you read, you have to read actively.
To get a deep (and practical) understanding and to be able to remember as much as possible in a single reading, you have to sloooow down… magnify key-information and contemplate it from multiple angles.
By doing so, first you’ll be able to apply the know-how of a book, and secondly, you will be able to recall all the key knowledge — anytime you want.
Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power.
So let’s get started.
How to Read and Remember With These 8-Principles:
Here are 9 tips that will help you to remember more of what you read:
#1 Read Fewer Books
Avoid the “Shiny New Book Syndrome” reading fewer books but going through some books several times! This is a BIG one. Stick to a few chosen books and read them over and over again until you sucked ’em dry.
Nowadays, people seem to have this drive to make reading a speed competition. The problem with that is that you don’t really consume the contents anymore. It’s just skimming but not actively participating with the author.
#2 Summarize What You Read
You’ve just read a section? Now paraphrase its main ideas in your head or express them on paper. This literally forces you to (a) remember what you just read and (b) understand it, too.
Then, when you’ve finished a chapter, recall it all once again. If necessary, go back and check what you’ve missed.
Yes, this will slow you down considerably, but it will get your brain juices flowing and forces you to comprehend every info-bit you digest this way. Plus, this will help your brain to remember what you read.
#3 Thinking Before Reading
This is an excellent tip I got out of the book “Mind and Memory Training” by Ernest E. Wood.
BEFORE you open up a book or, before you read a new chapter, dedicate 1/3rd of your reading time to think of anything you know of the book’s topic. This will create ‘mental-hooks,’ gets your mind primed, channels interest, and lets you absorb the information with a highly attentive mind.
This also works even if you do know next-to-nothing about the subject you’re about to read.
#4 Use Markers and Highlights
You knew that one already, I bet. But this is an essential learning tool that keeps you focused because you keep your mind actively searching for crucial information.
#5 Write Notes In Your Book
Yep, mess with your book! Make it your personal notebook. Be generous with taking notes anywhere you want. Ideas, insights, questions. The more, the better.
If you’re a Kindle user, take digital notes directly on your device, or use plain pen and paper.
#6 Find Synonyms
When you read a striking sentence, replace some words with synonyms. That way you have to think about the meaning, and it’ll help you to make the info stick better.
#7 Visualize Key Ideas
It has been proven that if we think in clear images, we remember up to 65% better. How do we do this with the material we read? First, try to break down sentences to its core idea and visualize it as an isolated image. Now, add additional info-chunks, growing that image to a more complex concept gradually.
(You can’t create mental images? Fix this here)
#8 The Keyword-Explosion Method
Take one keyword and write it down on a piece of paper. Now associate every single letter to spontaneous and related thoughts. For instance, like this:
K – knowledge, ‘c’ore information, …
E – experience, essence, essential, …
Y – yield
W – wisdom, wealth
O – observation, optimization
R – relevant idea, resource
D – digging for information, delivery of meaning, digestion of meaning
Do this very liberally and exhaust all possibilities. This will create a ton of cross-references in your mind… taking your understanding and memorization power of the chosen topic to the next level.
Last, and perhaps the most essential principles of all is:
Revisiting anything you’ve learned is vital for improving your reading retention. Not just once, but over and over again until the new information becomes an active part of your mind — knowledge that is available to you at any moment you need it.
Repetition is the mother of learning Zig Ziglar
Apply these principles listed above, and you will have an easy time to remember what you read. You don’t want, of course, apply this to everything you read; but you can select a few worthy candidates that qualify to be digested and become part of your instantly available thought material.
Until next time,