Best Way To Read Books and Remember Everything
Reading books is not hard, the hard part is to remember everything you read, now, if you go a bit deeper then you will come to know that, remembering everything you read is also not hard.
The problem is how everyone reads the book and the purpose behind it.
If you’re reading books because
- Everyone around you is reading.
- You want to show off.
- You just bought a book and want to finish it because of the guilt.
One More reason is, as per studies, humans only remember 10% of what they read and their memory of reading starts fading away within 5 days of reading if they just read and put the book aside.
Now, the question you may ask is, how do I remember what I read and how can I read more effectively?
So let’s find out the answer which I researched for 4 hours and you will get it, like this (cough, cough).
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How to Remember Everything You Read
Use Highlighter, Pen, or Your Hand
You show this coming, so let’s talk about it…
Earlier I was reading “The Happiest Man of Earth by Eddie Jaku”, this is Eddie’s biography where he has shared his life journey.
The book had lots of stuff and I had to unpack everything, so what I did is, I used a yellow highlighter along with flags, this way, if I want to write an article or come back to the book after a year then I don’t have to read an entire book.
I will just open the book and go through all the notes and I will be able to recall everything which I read a year ago.
Again, if you don’t want to buy a highlighter then you can always use Pen or even your hand.
If you have just started reading then what you can do is, use your hand as you read the paragraphs, and when you find some interesting quotes then highlight those words with a highlighter or pen.
How I Take Notes
Hate to break it to you but I don’t take notes like other readers do.
Everyone has a different method to remember what they read, mine is writing book summaries.
Whenever I read a book, I do highlight important paragraphs and once I finish the book, I take 2 hours to summarize whatever I read in the article which goes live on BookiesTalk.com.
Now, if you don’t want to share your notes with everyone then you can use sticky notes and put them inside the book.
Go get a notebook & pen and write down whatever you feel about the book.
The same notebook you can use for all other books, just write the book title & date on top of the notebook page along with that, stick the flags.
This way, you will get some idea about how many notes you have written in a single notebook.
Write down your thoughts when you find some interesting paragraphs in the sticky notes or beside the paragraphs.
Ryan Holiday who calls himself a professional reader uses the stake of notes.
What he does is,
Whenever he finishes the book, he writes down all his notes on paper and further he puts all his notes in a small bucket.
Also, Ryan is a well-known writer, so whenever he is writing a new book, he uses the small bucket and finds out whether he wants to add some quotes or paragraphs to his new book.
Now, this is the next level sh*t which I don’t want to recommend to everyone, unless and until you’re a writer and want to become one.
For a regular reader,
I would suggest using highlighters and flags which don’t cost a lot of money, so go get one and use them as you find some interesting stuff while reading the book.
Don’t overuse the flags, that’s what I did when I started using them.
Now, if you want to go one step further then create a FREE Twitter account and summarize whatever you have learned from the book on Twitter.
This way, you will have a free library of your notes on the internet and other readers will learn something new.
Just like Twitter, you can also use LinkedIn or YouTube, or any other platform.
The only thing you have to keep in mind while using social media is don’t expect anything in return, just write your notes and leave.
There you have it, I have shared how I take notes and how you can take notes, and even how Ryan Holiday takes notes.
For those who want to know how I take notes and write the same on bookiestalk.com,
- First, I ask myself, what are the five big ideas you took from the book? This way, I will come up with the core takeaways and I won’t waste my time thinking too much.
- Second, now if I had to implement one idea from the book in my life then what it would be?
- Third, if I had to describe this book to one of my friends then what it would be?
- Did you learn anything new from this book?
As David Cain says, “When we only learn something once, we don’t really learn it—at least not well enough for it to change us much. It may inspire momentarily, but then becomes quickly overrun by the decades of habits and conditioning that preceded it.”
It doesn’t matter, if you finish one book in 30 days, what matters is, how much you learn from the book.
So if you see people around you reading 5 to 6 books every month then that’s okay, you take your good time to read yours and get the most out of it.
There is no hurry to read the next book unless and until you don’t like the book you’re reading.
I finish a book in 3 days but if I’m not working on anything then it might take even 1 day.
That’s me and you don’t have to copy how I read the book because I have been reading books for a long time and I know, what to read and what not to.
That’s the reason why I’m sharing what I have learned with you.
The only thing you have to do is, read every day no matter what happens. Whether you read for 10 minutes or 1 hour, it doesn’t matter, what matters is, you read.
Never give excuses that I don’t have time, I’m tired, or something else.
Just set a time, for example,
I read a book for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour before I got to bed.
For you, it might be different, so set a time and stick to it.
What and What Not to Read
We have tons of self-help books that talk about the same things, so if you have read five self-help books then there is a chance that when you read the sixth self-help book, you will know 70% to 90% of the book.
So before you start reading a book, take close look at the table of content and go through the book for five minutes and you will get an idea about the book.
Now, what I do is,
I read the table of content and go through the book pages for five to ten minutes and if I find some interesting chapter then I start reading.
Sometimes, I read an entire book, sometimes, maybe two or three chapters, and sometimes, only one chapter.
It always depends on the book I’m reading,
Now, if its nonfiction then I usually skip the first half as most of the authors write “why they wrote the book in the first place”
This is not the same for all nonfiction authors and that’s the reason why I told you “ I go through the book pages for five to ten minutes “
So as I have said, you don’t have to read everything, just pick the parts that you don’t know, and the rest you can skip because there is no need to waste time.
How to Read More
Finish The book
One of the great pieces of advice I got was “You don’t have to finish every single book you start”
Here, I will tell you the same thing,
If you have spent Rs 300 to buy the book and if you don’t like it then kindly put it down, there is no one who is saying you to finish the book.
Now, I know, what it feels like to not finish the book but put it this way, you will save above 5 to 10 hours when you skip the book which you don’t like.
In those hours you can read the book that you love.
There is a great saying “Life is too short to waste it on an average book”
So next time when you read a new book and you find the book is average or the author is repeating the thing you already know then do yourself a favor and put the book aside.
That’s what I have been doing for yours, this will save tons of time and the same can be used for useful things.
Also, there is no need to read new books every single time, sometimes, it’s better to read the books you have already read.
For example, reading Atomic Habits by James Clear every year will add lots of value.
In the same way, if you read a book that you loved then try to re-read it whenever you get time.
There is a great saying by Morgan Housel “Your personal experiences makeup maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works. We’re all biased to our own personal history.”
You don’t have to believe what the author is saying, first, you have to see it through yourself, the author might be putting his point of view which won’t be true all the time.
That’s why you have to read more books, you can’t just say that I have read one self-help book and now I know everything about myself.
This is not a good way to read books,
Always, read more and see what other people are saying and then come to the conclusion.
If one author is saying that, the Law of Attraction work in real life while another author said, the Law of Attraction is peace of sh*t, at the same time another author comes and says, you have to use the Law of Attraction & Law of Vibration at the same time.
So what I’m saying is, always look for different opinions about different stuff and then come to the conclusion because sometime, reality might be different than what you read.
Don’t Buy Audiobooks
If you’re reading story-telling books then it makes more sense to buy Audiobook or when you’re reading romantic novels but if you’re reading self-help books then it’s the worst idea to buy an audiobook but why?.
When you listen to audiobooks, you won’t be sitting in one place. You will be doing some sort of work whether it’s cleaning the home, doing exercise, or running outside.
At this time, it makes sense to listen to romantic novels or nonfiction books because these will be stories and they will have some learning but it won’t be that huge.
Whereas when you decide to read a self-help book and if you buy an audiobook then it will be hard to apply what the author is telling you to do because you won’t be able to take notes while exercising or pay close attention to details.
So always, never buy Audiobook or even an ebook for self-help books, always get a physical copy and take notes and apply what you learn in your life.
Reading books is always good and it’s always better to remember everything you read, so if you’re that person who hates reading books then make sure you give a another try and try to read effectively.
But how you can read more effectively? The same as we discussed in this article.
Now, let’s summarize everything
- Always use Highlighter when reading books.
- If possible use sticky flags to bookmark the pages.
- Take notes from the book you read, you can use Twitter, YouTube, or even Linkedin to share your notes with other readers.
- Always take good time to finish the book, there is no hurry unless and until you don’t like the book you’re reading.
- Before you start reading a book, read the table of content and go through the book for five to ten minutes then pick the right chapters to read, again no need to read an entire book.
- One of the great pieces of advice I got was “You don’t have to finish every single book you start”
- Always read more books to learn more.
- Never buy Audiobook when you want to read a self-help book.
- Lastly, you won’t be able to read effectively, if you don’t read every day, so read every day whatever you can.
There you have it, I hope you learn something new, and still, if you have sorts of questions then feel free to drop a comment and we’ll chat about it, see you there.
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