I’m constantly reading. I always have a stack of books checked out from the library and a stack of digital library books loaded on the Kindle Reading App on my iPad. But when you read as much or as quickly as I do, you need some methods to actually remember the good stuff.
Here are some tips for things you could do to get the most out of what you’re reading.
1. Take notes. The mere act of writing and jotting down key points can help you remember more of what you read, even if you never go back to re-read your notes.
2. Flag in a physical book (or highlight in an ebook). Especially pages that have action items or writing prompts that you haven’t completed yet.
3. Follow up on other books that the authors reference. These additional references will strengthen your web of understanding on that topic.
4. Visit the author’s website for the book. Often, there will be extended resource guides or printable worksheets for you to download.
5. Follow the author’s blog or social media accounts. Following him/her on social media gives you inside scoop on anything else they might be working on.
And finally: 6. If the book is dragging and you’re not enjoying the reading process, stop reading or switch to skim mode. Seriously, life is too short to slog your way through a book that you’re not enjoying, or that you aren’t getting much from. If it’s not for work or school, you don’t have to finish it.
Do you have any tips and tricks for reading (and retaining) non-fiction material?
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham
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