“Read at least X books in 2015” is a very popular resolution for the new year. How about some tricks to get more value out of reading, than just increasing the count of books? That’s what I am sharing with you in this post.
Don’t just Read, but Digest
Reading a book is quite analogous to eating food.
If you don’t give your mind the right amount of time to digest ideas from a book, it tends to expel them.
Fast reading is good for magazines, news papers and fictions, but not very efficient for books with ideas. Subjectively vary your reading speed depending on the topic and need.
Read more than a Book in parallel
This tip is in line with the previous one.
The human mind loves variety. Lack of variety often leads to boredom and consequently closes the mind for any new ideas. This again is one of the common reasons for giving up on a book.
Here is the tip.
- Don’t religiously stick to a book from start to end
- Read a chapter, grab the ideas and let your mind digest it
- Move on to another book and repeat the same
- For best results, read 3 books in parallel and switch between them in a cycle
- Again, don’t restrict yourself to stick on with a book for long – if the ideas intrigue you
- The baseline is to avoid boredom and make your mind agile!!
Make notes while Reading
This is one big advantage of reading a book on Kindle. I am a heavy Kindle user and buy paperbacks only for legacy reasons (e.g., If I like to pass on a book to my son).
I make notes and highlights while reading. All these are stored in the cloud and helps me with the next tip.
On a paperback, it is not very difficult either. Just carry a pencil with you and highlight (underline) key ideas as your read.
This simple act goes a long way in helping your mind remember these ideas for a long time.
Write a Book Summary
This comes straight out of the previous tip.
After you are done with a book, maintain a document to put in all the key learning from the book. The notes you made previously are handy in getting this done.
Make sure the summary is written in a way that is directly relevant to you.
Don’t just copy the highlight from the book into your notes – but write the idea in your own words and even better, have an action item for you.
If you are active with blogging, a better idea would be to make a blog post out of your summary!!
So in short…
- Slow down your reading speed depending on the topic. Have a tendency to digest ideas in your mind
- Try reading more than one book in parallel. It can help to keep your mind agile for new new ideas
- Take notes and make highlights while reading the book
- Create a book summary with all your learning and action items
Good luck with your new year reading goals. Have a great 2015!