The quality of reading is much more important than the quantity of reading. There’s no point in memorizing passages from a book. But if you have private reflections regarding some of the passages you’ve collected, excellent. Your brain isn’t going to latch onto those critical reflections that you’ve had.
The brain is terrible at holding on to its elaborate information because it is interconnected with many other concepts. It’s very hard sometimes to retrieve the info if you’re not that well versed in it. Also, your brain is constantly occupied by daily matters. So you need a system to take all that crap enough to put all that information and organize this in a very effective way.
How To Learn From Books?
Reading a great book called ”Make It Stick” would be a great way to learn evidence-based learning techniques. We should still spend a decent amount of time figuring out the meta-learning behind what we will learn. Here I will discuss 10 ideas or techniques to learn from the book effectively.
1. Keep reading accessories
The first point is to have your reading accessories ready, whether it’s a notebook, pen, or highlighter. Make sure that you are ready to read. This is sometimes not the case if you’re traveling or reading on a Kindle. But if you’re at home, make sure that you have all of these accessories ready to make sure that you can get as much out of the book.
- Use a fountain pen to write in the notebook, a ballpoint pen to write in the actual book, and a highlighter to highlight.
Ensure that the information you get from the book relates to that question. It has done two things. The first thing is that it’s enabled to get the relevant information from the book based on that initial question. The second thing is that it’s increased the chances of finishing books.
2. Collect ideas
The second point is to read, highlight, and write down any ideas that resonate with you from the book. It could be highlighted within the book. Also, it could be writing down little notes in the margins to keep yourself engaged and active in the reading process.
- Make sure you read the full page before highlighting or taking any ideas.
- Make sure you read the page first and then think about the ideas or quotes that resonated with you from that page that you can highlight afterward.
3. Write notes
The issue with writing notes while reading the chapter is that you lose reading flow. When people are averse to taking notes while reading, it breaks up their flow, taking notes after reading every chapter. It’s based on a scientific method of learning called active recall, where you write down a summary of the chapter in your own words without looking back at the chapter after finishing it.
It does two things. It tests your memory because you’ve read that chapter. Also, the second thing is that you can summarize the chapter in your own words, making it more relatable.
4. Review the book
To learn effectively from books, you must write down five to ten principles you want to put into action after finishing every book. It proves incredibly beneficial.
- Write down five to ten principles based on the initial question before starting the book, and think about how you can implement these principles into life. Use this as a process of review.
5. Five minutes rule
Now, it’s tempting to learn it in the background whenever we’re learning anything, like practicing the guitar while watching TV. When we’re fully focused on what we’re learning, our brain learns things much better. We want to do something and have difficulty starting and overcoming the activation energy.
The five-minute rule says we must convince ourselves that we will do the thing for five minutes. Then, after we’ve done it for five minutes, we’re allowed not to do it. Be ready to focus on the book and not be distracted by mobile or social media checking. Keep away your gadgets from your reading room and stay focused on the book.
6. Find opportunities for immersion
There’s a great book called ”Ultra Learning” where the author talks about his journey through learning languages in three months and becoming fluent in a language in three months. The key to that, as all language learners say, is immersion. The general principle here is that we learn best when we’re in an environment where we use the skill.
Learning only happens when we’re trying to fix our weaknesses and operating at a decent level of difficulty in the perfect environment. So if you want to maximize your learning and learn anything faster, you must select an ideal environment and skillful book.
7. Test yourself
The idea behind active recall or retrieval practice is that we don’t learn by putting stuff into our brains. We learn counterintuitively by trying to take stuff out of our brains. So if you’ve had that experience reading something in a book, you’ve completely forgotten about it.
That’s because you haven’t tested yourself on that knowledge. Testing has negative connotations because we think of testing as a school thing, and we get judged.
If we move towards testing ourselves as a learning strategy, everything becomes much easier. When you’re reading, try to summarize what’s the point. The point is that you have to test yourself so that your brain can work to retrieve the information. That is what drives learning. In the field of learning, there is this concept called the desirable difficulty concept, which means something shouldn’t be too hard.
Whatever we want to learn efficiently, we want to apply this concept to try and make it a little more difficult. Learning is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be hard. If it’s hard, then it means we’re doing something right.
8. Take some short breaks
The Pomodoro technique says you should read for twenty-five minutes, take a five-minute break, repeat this three times, and then take a longer break. But twenty-five minutes may not be your perfect chunk of time. So how do you find your attention span? When you get distracted, press that timer, and that’s the perfect chunk of time.
The chances are that when you complete that single chunk of time, which could be twenty-five minutes, you haven’t finished that topic of concept. The human brain tends to remember incomplete and unfinished tasks much better than completing tasks.
So while taking that five-minute break, your brain will process that unfinished task or concept. When you get back to it in a second lot of twenty-five minutes, you’ll have much more clarity.
9. Spaced repetition
Instead of spending the entire day going over one topic, how about you study one concept and then change the topic. Go over that concept and then switch to the next concept. So, you’ll repeat that concept over a few days, which we call base repetition. The mind learns the idea better when you go over it repeatedly.
Also, bearing topics and even subjects helps the brain interlink concepts between topics and subjects. That’s a great way also to solidify your understanding. You need at least eight hours of sleep every day because this helps you analyze anything smartly.
10. Feynman technique
Try to understand all the little details of a concept in your head and explain it to someone else. It’s a process of four steps:
- Get out a piece of paper and write the technique’s name down at the top.
- Explain the concept and do it in simple whatever language you speak. That’s easy to understand as if you were teaching someone else.
- Identify the areas that you got stuck on that halted your explanation. Solve the problems and take notes.
- Finally, look at your explanation and try to identify the technical terms. Then break down those terms and explain them in simplified.
These techniques are helpful because you can quickly overview the concept. Also, your subconscious mind takes this seriously as you read aloud and repeat several.
Benefits of reading book
Why are we reading books when almost all the books are made into movies? Why do we have to spend hours and hours flipping through the pages and spending so much time on this activity? Many benefits of reading will help you have better arguments with your friends and make a difference in your mind.
- Reading books help exercise your brain. That may not be a serious issue for you, but for the kids in the developing state whose brain is developing.
- This is very important for older people to avoid diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. There’s no cure for these diseases, but they can be prevented. They can be slowed down if you are exercising your brain properly. So how do you exercise your brain? Do exercise your brain. You have to read the book.
- Stress is the biggest problem currently in the modern era. That is why you need to read books to reduce your stress.
- The obvious reason is to improve our vocabulary. You still need to improve your vocabulary because you cannot live your life with those limited collections of words. Make sure you improve your vocabulary and personality to make it more impressive and impress more people.
- We try to indulge in lots of memory games to have a better memory. But all you need to do is read stories because when you read a book, you try to remember everything is a description. When you challenge yourself to memorize things, you get better at that.
The significant and surprising benefit of reading is the improvement of analytical skills. You can practice, and it comes naturally. That develops analytical skills.
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