7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read - Deepstash

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1. Quit More Books

1. Quit More Books

It doesn't take long to figure out if something is worth reading. Skilled writing and high-quality ideas stick out.

As a result, most people should probably start more books than they do. This doesn't mean you need to read each book page by page. You can skim the table of contents, chapter titles, and subheadings. Pick an exciting section and dive in for a few pages. Maybe flip through the book and glance at any bolded points or tables. You'll have a reasonable idea of how good it is in ten minutes.

Then comes the crucial step: Quit books quickly and without guilt or shame.

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2. Choose Books You Can Use Instantly

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.

Choosing a book that you can use also provides a strong incentive to pay attention and remember the material. That’s particularly true when something important hangs in the balance. If you’re starting a business, for example, then you have a lot of motivation to get everything you can out of the sales book you’re reading.

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3. Create Searchable Notes

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.

You can do this in different ways depending on the format that you're consuming. You can highlight passages when reading on Kindle. You can dog-ear pages and transcribe notes when reading a print book.

But here's the real key: store your notes in a searchable format. There is no need to leave the task of reading comprehension solely up to your memory.

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4. Combine Knowledge Trees

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.

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5. Write a Short Summary

5. Write a Short Summary

As soon as you finish a book, you can challenge yourself 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 you can 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?

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6. Surround the Topic

6. Surround the Topic

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?

Reading a book takes effort, but too often, people use one book or one article as the basis for an entire belief system. This is even more true (and more difficult to overcome) when it comes to using our one, individual experience as the basis for our beliefs.

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7. Read It Twice

7. Read It Twice

I'd like to finish by returning to an idea I mentioned near the beginning of this article: read great books 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.”

Additionally, revisiting great books is helpful because the problems you deal with change over time. 

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CURATED BY

hatimbootwala

I am interested in ideas be it primitive or modern

One book will rarely change your life, even if it does deliver a lightbulb moment of insight. The key is to get a little wiser each day.

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