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Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

Memories Get Interwoven

The art and culture we engage our brains in turn into memories which can be unpredictable and fickle.

The books we read, the songs we hear and the movies we watch become interwoven and entangled with everything else in our lives.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/01/what-was-this-article-about-again/551603/

theatlantic.com

3

Key Ideas

The Forgetting Curve

Our memories have a 'forgetting curve', and unless we review what we see or learn, most of the content is forgotten in 24 hours, and the rest in the following days.

Due to the Internet, our recall memory has become less necessary, because now we don't need to remember information to recall it. Recognition memory is more important with recall memory fading away due to it being 'externalized'.

Memories Are Associations

The more information that is available to us, the more we are unable to retain it. Memory means association and most information we consume may be simply buried inside, lurking deep in, and surfacing when the right cue pops up.

Binge-watching or binge-reading serves no useful purpose as we are only holding the content in our working memories. That's why schools space out the chapters and review them, helping us retain the material.

Memories Get Interwoven

The art and culture we engage our brains in turn into memories which can be unpredictable and fickle.

The books we read, the songs we hear and the movies we watch become interwoven and entangled with everything else in our lives.

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While research has shown that nontraditional social strategies, such as reading a book or watching movies, can substitute for spending time with your loved ones, there is evidence that the traditional social strategies still hold actually the key to longer-lasting happiness. 

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Nostalgia for social interactions
Whenever we are not able to meet our friends or family for a long period of time, we tend to feel nostalgic for those moments of togetherness that have just become even more precious. 

By watching movies, listening to songs, or just reflecting on our relationships, we actually help repair and rediscover who is really important to us and we will, therefore, be even more grateful when given the chance to meet up again with those very persons.

Successful people stick to their reading habit

A random sampling of the world’s most successful people will show one common trait: a love of reading. Because reading is the easiest way to continue the learning process. 

Whatever problem you’re struggling with is probably addressed in some book somewhere written by someone a lot smarter than you."

- Ryan Holiday

Whatever problem you’re struggling with is probably addressed in some book somewhere written by someone a lot smarter than you."

- Ryan Holiday

Our memory is made up of 3 components

...in terms of reading retention:

  • Impression
  • Association
  • Repetition

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