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How to Remember What You Read

How to Remember What You Read

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The Lost Wisdom

It happens all the time. You read an amazing book, one so packed with wisdom that you think it’s going to change your life forever. Then…it doesn’t. Why? Because when you’re finally in a situation where you could use its insights, you’ve completely forgotten them. Time is...

  • Quality matters more than quantity. There's no point in reading loads of books in a short amount of time but couldn't recall enough about what the books say.
  • Book summary services don't really resemble the actual books. Those summaries are useful as ...

If you happen to read books just for entertainment, you probably won't need this. But if you read to acquire some valuable knowledge, the things mentioned next will be pretty important for your enhanced reading experience.

Active reading is thoughtfully engaging with a book at all steps in the reading process. From deciding to read right through to reflection afterwards, you have a plan for how you are going to learn what’s in the book.

Books don’t enter our lives against a blank slate. Each time we pick up a...

  • Choose Great Books. Focus on some combination of books that: 1) stand the test of time; 2) pique your interest; or 3) challenge you. The more interesting and relevant we find a book, the more likely we are to remember its contents in the future.
  • Get some cont...

  • Intelligentily skim. Use this information to situate your expectations and refine what you are looking for as you read.
  • Match the book to your environment. When choosing books, take a look at your own situation and decide on genres or authors that mi...

The best technique for notetaking is whichever one works for you and is easy to stick to. While there are hundreds of systems on the internet, you need to take one of them and adapt it until you have your own system. Adapt your notetaking system to suit your goals.

Books do not exist in a vacuum. Every concept or fact can be linked to countless others. Making an effort to form our own links is a fruitful way to better remember what we read.

Building vivid mental pictures is one of the most effective techniques for remembering anything, not least what ...

Reading alone is not enough. We have to contextualize the knowledge. If you can take something you’ve read and apply it immediately, it will reinforce the learning and add context and meaning.

Teaching others is a powerful way to embed information in your mind. Upon completing a book, grab ...

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What you read can give you access to untold knowledge. But how you read changes the trajectory of your life.

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