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How to Retain More of Each Book

 You Read. IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY

There are many benefits to reading more books, but perhaps my favorite is this: A good book can give you a new way of interpreting your past experiences.

Every time we learn a new mental model or idea, it's like updating the "software" in our brain. Suddenly you can run all your old data points through the new program. You can learn new lessons from old times. As Patrick O'Shaughnessy says, "Reading changes the past".

Of course, this only applies if you internalize and remember the knowledge from the books you have read. Knowledge only increases if it is preserved. In other words, it's not just about reading more books, it's about getting the most out of every book you read.

Of course, acquiring knowledge is not the only reason to read. Reading for fun or entertainment can be a wonderful hobby, but this article is about reading for learning. With that in mind, I want to share with you some of the best reading comprehension strategies I've found.

1. Leave more books

It doesn't take long to know if something is worth reading. Skillful writing and high-quality ideas attract attention.

This means that most people should start with more books than they actually do. That doesn't mean you have to read every book page by page. You can browse the table of contents, chapters, titles and subtitles. Pick an interesting product and dive into a few pages. Perhaps flip through the book and look at any items or tables in bold. In ten minutes you will have a reasonable idea of ​​its quality.

Then comes the crucial step: lose the pounds quickly and without guilt or shame.

Life is too short to waste it on mediocre books. The opportunity cost is too high. There is so much great stuff to read. I think Patrick Collinson, the founder of Stripe, put it well when he said, "Life's too short not to read the best book you've read."

Here's my recommendation:

start with reading more books. Stop with the majority. Read the big ones twice.

2. Choose books that can be used immediately

One way to improve reading comprehension is to choose books that can be used immediately. The ideas you put into action are one of the best ways to keep them fresh in your mind. Practice is a very effective form of learning.

Choosing a book is also a powerful incentive to pay attention and remember the material. This is especially true when it comes to something big: for example, when you start a business, you are highly motivated to get the most out of the sales book you are reading. Likewise, someone working in biology might read Origin of Species more carefully than a casual reader because it is directly related to their day-to-day work.

Of course, not all books are guides you can use right away, and that's okay. Wisdom can be found in many books. But I find that I tend to remember books that are more relevant to my daily life.

3. Create

searchable notes. Write down what you read. You can do as you like. It doesn't have to be a large production or complex facility. Just do something to emphasize important points and passages.

I do this in different ways depending on what format I'm using. When I read on the Kindle, I underline paragraphs. When I listen to audio books, I write down interesting quotes. When I read a printed book, I work with the pages and print out notes.

But here's the real key: save your notes in a searchable format.

Reading comprehension tasks do not have to be memorized. I take notes in Evernote. I prefer Evernote over other options because 1) it's instantly searchable, 2) it's easy to use across devices, and 3) you can create and save notes even when you're not connected to the internet.

I transfer my notes to Evernote in three ways:

I. Audiobook: I create a new Evernote file for each book and then write my notes directly into that file as I listen.

II. eBook: I mark sections on my Kindle Paperwhite and use a program called Clippings to export all my Kindle highlights directly to Evernote. I then add a synopsis of the book and additional thoughts before posting it on my book summary page.

III. Writing: Similar to my audiobook strategy, I take notes while reading. When I come across a longer section I want to write, I put the book on the stand while I write. (Taking notes while reading a printed book can be tedious because you're always putting the book down and picking it up, but this is the best solution I've found.)

Of course, your notes don't have to be digital "finds." For example, you can use sticky notes to mark specific pages for future reference. Alternatively, Ryan Holiday suggests keeping each note on an index card and organizing them by subject or book.

The basic idea is the same: keeping notes searchable is important for easy return to ideas. An idea is only useful if you can find it when you need it.

4. Combine Knowledge Trees

You can think of a book as a knowledge tree, with some basic concepts forming the trunk and details forming the branches. By connecting branches and integrating your current book with other knowledge trees, you can learn more and improve your reading comprehension.

For example:

When I read scientist VS Ramachandran's The Tell-Tale Brain, I discovered that one of its key points was related to an earlier idea I had learned from social worker Brené Brown.

In my notes on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, I noticed how Mark Manson's idea of ​​suicide overlapped with Paul Graham's essay on maintaining a small identity. .

Reading Mastery by George Leonard, I realized that while this book is about the improvement process, it also emphasizes the connection between genetics and performance.

I've added each preview to my notes for that particular book.

Connections like these help you remember what you've read by "associating" new information with concepts and ideas you already understand. As Charlie Munger says, "When you make a habit of relating what you read to the basic structure of the underlying ideas being presented, you gradually gain wisdom."

When you read something that Reminds you of another topic or instantly sparks a connection or idea, don't let that thought come and go without warning. Write down what you learned and how it relates to other ideas.

5. Write a short summary

Once I've finished a book, I'm asked to summarize the entire text in just three sentences. Of course, this limitation is just a game, but it forces me to think about what was really important in the book.

Some questions they think about when I summarize a book are:

What are the main themes?

If you could implement one idea from this book immediately, what would it be?

How would you write a book for a friend?

In many cases, I find that by reading my one-paragraph summary and skimming through the notes, I usually get as much useful information as if I were to read the entire book again.

If you feel like you can't condemn an ​​entire book in three sentences, consider using the Feynman Technique.

The Feynman Technique is a scoring strategy named after physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. It's pretty simple: Write the name of the book at the top of a blank piece of paper, and then write how you would explain the book to someone who has never heard of it.

If you get stuck or find yourself lacking in understanding, review your notes or go back to the text and try again. Keep writing until you have a good grasp of the main ideas and feel confident in your interpretation.

I've found that almost nothing exposes the flaws in my thinking better than rewriting an idea than explaining it to a beginner. Similarly, Ben Carson, a financial analyst, says, "The best way to find out what I've learned from a book is to write about it."

6. Circle the topic

. I often think of the quote from Thomas Aquinas: "Beware of the man of a book."

If you read just one book on one subject and use it as the basis of your beliefs for an entire country category, well how strong are their beliefs? How accurate and complete is your knowledge?

Reading a book takes effort, but too often people use a book or article as the basis of an entire belief system. This is even more true (and harder to overcome) when it comes to using our unique individual experience as the basis of our beliefs , but maybe 80% of how you think the world works. We are all biased by our own personal history

House read different books on the same subject. Go deeper from different angles, look at the same problem through the eyes of different authors, and try to push the boundaries of your own experience.

7. Read it twice

. Finally, I would like to come back to the idea I mentioned at the beginning of this article: read big books twice The philosopher Karl Popper explained the advantages very nicely: "Everything worth reading is not just worth reading twice, but worth reading again and again, then you can rediscover it again and again and find things in it that you didn't notice before, even if you've read it several times.'

hardly, changes with time. Of course, if you read a book twice, you'll notice some things you missed the first time, but new passages and ideas are more likely to be important to you. It's natural that different phrases will spring to mind depending on where you are in life.

You read the same book, but you never read it the same way. As Charles Chu wrote, “I keep coming back to the same authors. No matter how many times I return, I always find they have something new to say. If you

don't learn something new every time you read it, then great books would still be worth re-reading, because ideas need to be repeated as we remember them. Author David Cain says, "If we learn something only once, we don't really learn, at least not well enough to change much. It may be temporarily inspired, but is quickly overwhelmed by the decades of habit and conditioning that preceded it. When you come back to big ideas, solidify them in your head.

Nassim Taleb sums it up with a rule for all readers: “A good book is better the second read. A good book for the third time. Any book that isn't worth reading isn't worth reading.

How to proceed

Knowledge increases with time.

In Chapter 1 of Atomic Habits, I wrote, "Learning a new idea doesn't make you a genius, but a commitment to lifelong learning can be transformative."

A book, even if it gives you an aha moment, will rarely change your life . The key is to get a little smarter every day.

Now that you know how to get the most out of every book you read, you might be looking for reading recommendations. 

  Retain More of Book

04 noiembrie 2022
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