In order to pick your next book, ask yourself what would be relevant to you right now.
Even if the subject matter of the book is not particularly dense or complex, you should try to give it your undivided attention. This means getting rid of distractions: no email, no notifications. Ideally, turn off your phone and leave it in another room.
Active reading means critically engaging with the content and having the determination to understand it, and has been shown to increase retention.
To take things further, try to connect the dots between the book you’re currently reading and other concepts or books you have read in the past. Create your own knowledge tree inside your brain.
Applying what you’ve learned in a real-world scenario is one of the most efficient ways to solidify the information inside your memory.
when it comes to reading, quality trumps quantity. It’s not really about how many books you read, but how you read them.
“A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.” Robertson Davies, Novelist and Professor.
You could take notes in the margins, on a separate note-book, on post-it notes—it doesn’t really matter, the act of taking notes is what helps form new pathways in the brain and store the information better in your long-term memory. It’s called the Generation Effect.
If practiced with purpose, reading creates effective increments of knowledge. The more you read, the better you will become at it, and the more you will learn.
How to better remember what you read
Writing something? Read On Writing by Stephen King. Trying to be more productive at work? Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Once you’re done reading the book, take a few minutes to write a short summary, including the main ideas. A good question to ask yourself is: how would I describe this book to a friend? This is great both for retention and for recall.
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