5 Ways to Retain More Information from the Books You Read
Over the last few months, we’ve collectively read more books than ever before. Education has been a top priority for us to both occupy ourselves in quarantine and to also keep growing as individuals. But what happens when we’ve read so much that we have a hard time retaining the content? Information overload can be a real problem. Without a few solutions, you might risk losing the knowledge you’ve wanted. Here are a few ways you can retain more information from the books you’ve read:
We love a good book recommendation. Like you, many of us have long lists of books that we’re eyeing on. But have you considered putting down the new book you’re reading to re-read an old one? You don’t have to read the whole book. Try going back to chapters you remember enjoying or learning from. By re-reading sections of old books, we are positive that you will familiarize yourself better with the content. Have you seen our book recommendations for children’s books about race & diversity? Find them here.
After reading a section or chapter of a book, do yourself a favor and write a summary in your own words. What are the most important topics? What were your thoughts on it? How will you practice what you read or explain it to a friend who’s never heard of the book? By making the habit of writing things down and reading them over, you are more likely to remember the book contents and share your knowledge.
We love winding down the night with a good book, but have you considered reading when you are most alert? For most people, this would be the morning. Like the Start Today Journal, we recommend building in time to read in the morning instead of night. If you can make the time, include it in your morning routine, maybe after you’ve had your morning cup of coffee. That way, you are more likely to retain more information and have less of a chance of a book or e-reader falling on your head when you’re about to go to sleep.
We are all about writing things down on paper here, but if you’re passionate about a subject, we’d challenge you to do something differently. After writing down your notes, consider transcribing them into a digital document or e-notes keeper. By doing this, you can easily search, reference, or tag your notes as long as you have a device nearby.
The best way to retain information from a book is to practice the concepts from the books you read. Did the book recommend you to try a habit statement? Did the book encourage you to start writing more? Try a specific idea? Make a plan to put it into action, so you can figure out if it works for your lifestyle.