Whether you’re invested in a series, and you want to remember every little detail that could possibly become crucial in the future, or you’re reading for personal development and you want to remember and apply everything you’ve read, we all have our reasons for wanting to improve our memory. So, in this article, we’ll share our tips and the best ways to remember what you read.
These are the best ways to remember what you read
#1 Immerse all your senses when reading
Most of us read silently, which means that only our eyes are involved in the act of reading. However, the more senses you engage in a reading session, meaning the more parts of your brain you activate during reading, the more you will remember.
For example, some people buy books in both audio and physical / digital formats, so they are both listening and reading at the same time. The same could be achieved if you read aloud. Although reading aloud is not as fast as reading silently, and it might also strain your voice in time, the fact that you’re engaging two senses, sight and hearing, increases your chances of remembering what you read.
#2 Have a pen in hand and take notes
Everyone knows that one effective way to remember more of what you read is by taking notes. That’s because, just like we mentioned in the previous point, you’re activating two different parts of your brain at the same time.
But one not-so-common practice is to read with a pen in your hand and follow the text lines with it. This way, the chances of your mind flying elsewhere decrease, you’re more focused on your reading and, therefore, more likely to remember the information. Let’s be honest; we’re all guilty of this. 😅 We’ve all read while we were thinking of something else, only to realize later on that we have no idea what we’ve just read.
On the topic of notes, it’s preferable to use a pen and paper and write by hand, as opposed to typing. However, it’s essential to reread your notes from time to time to refresh your memory. Also, using a reading-tracking app can help you make your notes searchable. This way, when you want to get back to a specific passage, you know exactly where to find it. Bookly can help you greatly with this as the app allows you to note down quotes, your thoughts while reading, definitions, and book summaries while keeping everything organized.
#3 Diversify and conquer
Many of us pick up a book at a time. Or, even worse, try to finish a book in one sitting. For one, it’s normal to lose your focus and get bored after a while – no one has an infinite attention span. So, as you force yourself to read more, you’re less and less likely to remember much. Taking frequent breaks while reading is important so you don’t get bored or tired.
Instead, set aside a dedicated time for reading every day – consistency is more important than intensity. Bookly can also help you with this – you can use the app to set reminders for your reading sessions so you never “forget” about reading again. 😉
Interleaving is also a popular technique for remembering more of what you read. Interleaving means reading multiple books at once, preferably from different genres. And the key here is to compare the information from different books, thus forcing your brain to think and process.
#4 Discuss what you read
Book clubs are great for this, but forums or personal blogs are also an option (if you haven’t already, this is your invitation to join Bookly’s Discord server). This works because it gives you a purpose for finishing the book other than just finishing the book. When you know you will be required to remember what you’ve read and discuss your ideas, you’re more focused and more likely to retain information. This is why we still remember things from school years after we’ve finished our education – because we knew that simply going through the materials was not enough; we would be tested on our knowledge.
#5 Honorable mentions: meditation, sleep, and diet
For many, this is an afterthought, but how you feel actually has a significant impact on your memory.
Firstly, mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can contribute to better memory. By increasing your focus and reducing distractions, mindfulness improves your ability to absorb and retain information. Incorporating short mindfulness sessions into your study routine can yield impressive results.
Then, sleep is when your brain consolidates memories and transfers them from short-term to long-term storage. A healthy sleep schedule will ensure that the information you’ve learned throughout the day is firmly planted in your memory.
Last but not least: A balanced diet and regular exercise aren’t just beneficial for your physical health; they also impact your cognitive abilities. Foods rich in antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins promote brain health and memory function. No more snack & read!
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. — Dr. Seuss
How Bookly helps you remember more of what you read
As we previously mentioned, Bookly is a reading-tracking app that also comes with features that help you organize your thoughts about every book you read, as well as quotes and definitions.
Writing down quotes, thoughts, and definitions often involves paraphrasing or summarizing in your own words. This personalization connects the information to your unique perspective, making it more memorable.
Your written notes serve as a reference point you can return to when you need to refresh your memory. Therefore, the act of revisiting your notes further reinforces the information in your mind.
Do you have any other tips & tricks that have helped you remember more of what you’ve read? Share them with other #BooklyReaders below 👇
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