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Improving Your Memory: 3 Ways To Remember What You Read

One of the most popular leisures people indulge in is reading. Reading is an enjoyable activity that helps in the relaxation of the body and mind besides exercise one’s mental capacity. Reading a book increases one’s knowledge, vocabulary, and grammar as you get to learn new things from the author’s story. 

However, as our understanding continues to expand, the downside effect is that we tend to forget half of what we’ve learned. Worse still, we don’t pay much attention to this fact. As such, we tend to fall into a cycle where we forget the story, the title, the characters, and the author of the books we read. We only remember few of them.

However, here are the three efficient strategies that can help you remember everything you’ve read.

“A great book is within your heart. Open the pages of this inexhaustible book, the source of all knowledge. You will know everything.” – Sivananda

 Generate questions and look for answers

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While reading a book, you get completely immersed in what we are reading, and we became lost to the wall of texts. However, the moment you close the book, you tend to forget most of what you have just read. Maybe what you remember are the plot and some major events. One way of countering that is by generating a list of questions.

As you ran reading, generate some intriguing issues and list them down. Maybe a certain chapter confuses you. It still needs some clarification, but you know you won’t get anything until you’ve read all chapters. So while you’re still in the process of getting your answers, list down all your questions anyway. Then when you’ve finished reading the book,  go back to the list again and try to answer them in your own words. Without you knowing it, your mind will start recollecting everything you read just to answer those questions.

 Research on the points you don’t understand

One advantage of reading a book is that it improves your knowledge and vocabulary. You encounter new words, phrases, idioms, and terminologies that you are not accustomed to. Before you close the book and decide that it isn’t for you just because you don’t understand a thing written in it, turn this to an opportunity to grow and learn. Just like in our previous piece advice, list down the things you don’t understand and take the time to research on them. If you encounter a new word that didn’t seem to make sense, look up for its meaning and synonym.

If there’s a terminology, system, or process you don’t know, take the time to research on. You’ll be surprised about the new knowledge and information you can learn from these. You can learn more details about the plot, the character’s reaction, or even the twists if you’d just go an extra mile and research. It is important that you have some background knowledge about the genre of the book you’re reading as the author will always assume that you somehow know what you’re reading.  What’s more interesting is when you stumble upon a principle you already know, but the somehow contradicts with your version.  This opens up an opportunity for clarifications and learning from each other.

 Apply the knowledge to your real life


Jotting down notes and recollecting what you have read are great ways of retaining it. However, applying the knowledge, you learn in real life will be more meaningful for you. Even if you forget the exact wording per se, you’ll still be able to grasp its true nature and meaning. For example, if you’ve learned a new word, you can apply it as you write down your story or essay. If you’ve learned a new formula or solution, you can apply it to your project or when you encounter a similar problem in life. Applying your knowledge in your real life make it more insightful and useful for you.

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