How To Retain What You Read

We all are into reading habits, be it because of academic impositions or just out of hobbies. But in anyways, it is considered to be a very important habit and it helps us in very different ways. We also come across a variety of books in our lifetimes, but do you remember each of them with the same intensity? Definitely not. 

There are very few books which we can recall by heart whenever asked, and that is because we may have got too connected to it too much. And also because some books get retained in our memory very well. And it gets really very disturbing sometimes when we can’t recall a book while we need to. So, in this article let’s just try to learn and imply some skills through which we can retain most of every book we read. 

Purpose of Reading

To connect the ideas of what you read, to what you already know is the prime purpose of reading. If you are not much aware of any subject that you’re reading, then it might seem a bit difficult to grasp. It will also take much a longer time to build upon your knowledge for that and for getting related to the new information. But if you already have existing knowledge about the same, then the connection is instantaneous and it helps you to remember that piece of work for a much longer time.

Learn about what could be the possible advantages of reading fictional books.

Benefits of Regular Reading

Not only to increase general knowledge, reading can also help you with various of its other benefits. It helps in:

  1. Increasing vocabulary and comprehension skills.

  2. Reducing stress and anxiety.

  3. Aiding problems of insomnia and helps in sleep readiness.

  4. Empowering the ability to empathize with people around you.

  5. Fighting depression symptoms.

  6. Improving connectivity of the brain.

  7. Increasing overall social knowledge.

A good book helps in changing your past experiences’- not literally of course, but it does in some manner. A book is like an updated version of software to our brains. When we read a book, it eliminates the negativity of the experiences we have gone through in the past. It provides a refreshment in your existential crisis of emotions. ‘Reading changes the past’, only if you retain what you’re gaining knowledge about because then it changes your life in numerous ways which we might not even realize. 

Let’s understand why a book is called our best friend.

Retaining Maximum of What You Read

  1. Choose Books that Benefit you Instantly- Firstly, choose books of your genre. If you like to read mystery-thriller, then opt for books with that theme. It is because you grasp, learn and retain more of what you already like. It takes no extra practice or motivation with it. There is a pinch of wisdom in every book, but not all would be relevant to you and your life. Go with the books that could help you instantly and in more genuine ways.


  1. Quit ‘More’ Books- Don’t go for quantity reading, rather choose quality reading. Regardless of reading 5 books of the same types, choose the best one out of it. More books might cause distraction from the actual learning. Books are knowledgeable, true. But not all books are worth reading for everybody. Life is too short to be wasting on average books and the opportunity cost is way too high. Be a little smarter in choosing what you read. 


  1. Jotting Down Notes- Not only in our academics, writing notes help you in casual ways too. Try keeping notes of what you read. You can do it with a real book, and with e-books as well. It doesn’t need to be decorative, but just enough for you to understand. There is no way you can memorize everything everytime, making notes helps you recall the things you read and learn in a more subtle way. But here’s a tip- keep track storage of your notes in a searchable formatting for later. 


  1. Summarize the Book- As soon as you finish a book, try writing down a summary of it. It need not be in perfect language with correct grammar and vocabulary, it should just be understandable to you. Write about the theme, main idea, author’s perception and what you learnt from the characters and the situations that surrounded them. Try connecting it with your real life to make your understanding much better. Be your own author.


  1. Don’t Stick to a Single Ideology- Reading books is not only about grasping knowledge, it’s also about evolving in your own ways. The ideologies, beliefs, perceptions written in a book is a single man's writings, you should not make it your prime focus and apply it in your life. Make yourself capable of researching a single idea with different viewpoints. Surround the topic you read. Retaining is much better when it also comes from your own made perception and not just believing upon others.


  1. Read a Book Twice- Not all books are worth reading more than one time. But the book which gives you lifelong knowledge can be held in your hands twice. Read a book once, to grasp what the author is trying to make you understand; read it twice, to inculcate the understanding with your own viewpoint and judgments.

Not only reading increases your knowledge, but it also somehow helps in giving a different spectrum of life. It changes your perception in so many ways to even count. What all it takes to give yourself a difference of opinions among people, just some books and gradually you can start observing the difference in your own thought process. Start reading, learning, and spreading what you learn!

‘Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body’  

Get a glimpse of what Sunil Mishra, a blogger, and writer have to say about his writing experience.

Written By - Pavas Shrigyan

Edited By - Kashish Chadha

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