7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read

7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read

Knowledge will only compound if it is retained. In other words, what matters is not simply reading more books, but getting more out of each book you read. I’d like to share some of the best reading comprehension strategies to retain more of every book you read.

1. Quit More Books

Life is too short to waste it on average books. The opportunity cost is too high. There are so many amazing things to read. I think Patrick Collison, the founder of Stripe, put it nicely when he said, “Life is too short to not read the very best book you know of right now.”

Here’s my recommendation:

Start more books. Quit most of them. Read the great ones twice.

2. Choose Books You Can Use Instantly

One way to improve reading comprehension is to choose books you can immediately apply. Putting the ideas you read into action is one of the best ways to secure them in your mind. Practice is a very effective form of learning. You can find wisdom in many different books. But I do find that I’m more likely to remember books that are relevant to my daily life.

3. Create Searchable Notes

Keep notes on what you read. You can do this however you like. It doesn’t need to be a big production or a complicated system. Just do something to emphasize the important points and passages like highlighting or keeping notes in Evernote. But here’s the real key: store your notes in a searchable format. The core idea is the same: Keeping searchable notes is essential for returning to ideas easily. An idea is only useful if you can find it when you need it.

4. Combine Knowledge Trees

One way to imagine a book is like a knowledge tree with a few fundamental concepts forming the trunk and the details forming the branches. You can learn more and improve reading comprehension by “linking branches” and integrating your current book with other knowledge trees.

5. Write a Short Summary

As soon as I finish a book, I challenge myself to summarize the entire text in just three sentences. This constraint is just a game, of course, but it forces me to consider what was really important about the book.

Some questions I consider when summarizing a book include:

  • What are the main ideas?
  • If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?
  • How would I describe the book to a friend?

6. Surround the Topic

I often think of the quote by Thomas Aquinas, “Beware the man of a single book.”

If you only read one book on a topic and use that as the basis for your beliefs for an entire category of life, well, how sound are those beliefs? How accurate and complete is your knowledge?

One way to attack this problem is to read a variety of books on the same topic. Dig in from different angles, look at the same problem through the eyes of various authors, and try to transcend the boundary of your own experience.

7. Read It Twice

The philosopher Karl Popper explained the benefits nicely, “Anything worth reading is not only worth reading twice, but worth reading again and again. If a book is worthwhile, then you will always be able to make new discoveries in it and find things in it that you didn’t notice before, even though you have read it many times.” You read the same book, but you never read it the same way. So read it twice or more.

If you find this article helpful, then don’t forget to like and share your views. Thanks for taking time to read it.

Disclaimer: Information/Educational Purpose only.

Source: jamesclear

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Incredible share. Thank You. I often forget what i read and read lots of unnecessary books imo.

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But the thing is that sometimes you can can’t find all the answers you are looking for in a few books and resources sometimes.
Most of the times its really difficult to judge whether a resource is worth the time we spend.
But that also comes with trail and error after you spend some time in a particular fields and different types of resources.

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