Reading Tip: How do you retain what you read? @Adouski

by | Aug 12, 2014 | Blog | 0 comments

What is the best reading tip you’d tell others? Here are ours!

I don’t know if I’m the absolute best to give reading tips. I think I’ve mentioned somewhere in my earlier posts about writing or reading about how easily I distracted I am. It’s incredible, really. So distracted that sometimes I even find myself reading a sentence while my mind is completely elsewhere, and I have no idea what I just read. As you can probably guess, then, it is often difficult for me to remember what I read about, whether it’s a chapter later, an hour later, or a day later. Realizing this about myself, I’ve had to find ways to help me better retain the things I read. Here are five reading tips from me to you:

Reading Tip #1 — Notes & Read Them

This tactic has proved incredibly beneficial for me. Sometimes when reading books that are meant to inform or advise me, I have trouble remembering what the main point of the chapter I’ve just read before was, which obviously causes the connection between the chapters to be quite cloudy.

I take notes on key points, main points, quotes that I find moving or especially helpful, etc. Whether the notes be written in the margins of the book, in a journal or notebook, or on the computer, they help me track down what is happening in the chapter and what it’s all about.

Once I’m done with the chapter, I re-read the notes I’ve taken and think on them for a while. Then it’s on to the next one!

Reading Tip #2 — Underline & Reread

Although the technique above is extremely useful, it does take quite a bit of time. It slows down the reading process (and I’m already a slow reader as it is!) and requires quite a bit of patience. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to take all of this time, or I may simply not have the time to take these notes.

Another way to do essentially the same thing is underling or highlighting instead of taking notes, and when you’re done with the chapter, simply read all that you’ve underlined, and be on your merry way! I underline and highlight the same things as when I take notes and read them, such as the main message, key points, and paragraphs or sentences that I find beneficial!

Reading Tip #3 — Summarize & Repeat

When I really want to remember the general message of a chapter, summarizing is my number one go-to. Using this method requires less focus on the details and many little points and more on the overall theme of the chapter. I write a summary in a way that makes sense to me, explaining the main point and the small connecting key points.

Reading Tip #4 — Bye-Bye Distractions


It is so disruptive to the thought process to get a text message in the middle of reading. You get the text, you put your book down, and you take yourself out of the stream of thought of the book and into the conversation of your text message. It pulls you right out of your reading focus. The same goes for computers and other technology, where you get distracted with things like, “Let me check my email and see if I got a response from that professor!” and “I wonder if the pictures of their wedding are up yet!”

Just put all of that stuff away, and immerse yourself in the world of your book. That’ll do it.

Reading Tip #5 — Walk & Read

Okay, I have to admit, I have never done this. Well, I have, but it was me cramming information into my brain on the way to an exam because I’d procrastinated my studying – but for what it’s worth, I think I got all of the questions right on whatever it was that I was reading on my way to class!

According to Jason Brueckner, this apparently is super helpful and actually works! Something about moving around and reading at the same time releasing something in your brain that helps you retain better?

Welp, I just threw that in there ‘cause I thought it was fun and Jason says so.

Hope every reading tip listed is a huge help!

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