How to REALLY read a book?
March 1, 2011 11:26 AM Subscribe
I am about to embark on a massive technical book reading escapade. Please share your information retention methods.
posted by Sentus to Education (7 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I come from a family of "fast" readers, where the underlying purpose to read is to finish the book as soon as possible and hop to the next one. It's not such an issue with fiction. Lately I've been reading a lot of information heavy non fiction books and I am finding that my information retention from them is lacking at best. I am not expecting to read a book once and to memorize it by heart, but surely there are some tricks of the trade to organize that information better than just re reading the books multiple times.
Alot of this may sound very obvious but I found it really helped me:
- "Isolation Tank". I am very sensitive to noises, movements and just generally easily distracted. I found that being in a sanitized clutter free, well lit environment, putting some EAR PLUGS to further shut down the noise and knowing that no one will ever disturb/open doors really helps me concentrate.
- Highlighting. It seems kinda obvious, but was quite a revelation to me about two years ago. I highlight with a marker key sentences and ideas that I should especially remember. That action alone with the addition of reading the sentence again while marking it, seems to really help me retain critical information. Also helps locate it on later on.
- Right mental mode. When I am anxious, angry or generally upset I find my mind drifts more easily and I tend to skim the content without actually soaking anything in.
- Timing. I found out that I am able to concentrate better in the very early morning, and right after having a good meal. Good amount of physical exercise a few hours prior also tends to sharpen my concentration.
- Continually. I find that if I am not persistent enough, or my attention is spread between multiple books, I tend to read only the first third of most of them and then jump to another interesting subject. By reading one book at a time, and concentrating all my available reading time to just one title, I am more likely to finish it cover to cover.
- Thorough research about the book, prior to reading it. Reading plenty of reviews and comparing it to others in the field make me more confident that the mental energy and time I put into reading the book is worthwhile thus making me much more motivated to finish it.
Did anyone ever tried to create a personal "wiki" regarding a particular studying subject? Any other software like that? Anyone writes short summaries of books they read and refer to them later on?
Any techniques, tips, tools, software or books about reading/studying well will be much appreciated,
Thank you and have a fantastic day!