Reading is a hobby worth developing. There are many books in the market and it is easy to choose what interests us. However, there is a common problem which troubles many readers. This is remembering a book after reading it. There are many times when you read a book but aren’t able to recall what you have read. In order to improve upon this, the first thing we need to do is catching where we are going wrong. A few common mistakes are:
- Reading too fast.
- Reading too slow.
- Focusing on completion of the book in order to add one more book in my “Read List”.
- This leads to speeding up chapter after chapter without any concern about whether we have well imbibed the previous knowledge in my mind or not.
- Lack of flow and concentration.
- Reading the book too casually. This is psychological. We tend to read a book well from cover to cover when we have to give an exam but not when we are reading it for knowledge, though, the latter has a greater importance in one’s life.
- Lack of application and enrichment.
- Lack of interest and inquisitiveness.
Now, when we know where we are/were going wrong, we ought to improve it for better results. Following are a few ways to improve upon these mistakes:
- Improving the reading style. There are may techniques to it. A book called How to read better and faster is of great help. Just in brief we will share with you a few important points:
- Read a collection of words rather than a single word at a time. Your eye position should be such that you are able to do this.
- Do not speak and read.
- No lip movement as well.
- Eye movement in sync with mind movement.
- Make short notes (hard/soft) . The manner in which you do that matters a lot. I tried different methods like listing, paragraphs etc., but the best one till now is mking notes in Q and A form. With this, you will be able to remember more as you are doing a double mental exercise.
- Do not read for completion :Just imagine that you have to teach or tell someone whatever you are reading. Even after reading a chapter, you could create an imaginary scene where you are explaining to a friend or someone else. This adds to the quality of you learning. This along with note making considerably adds to your memory of what you have read.
- Targeted completion : Set a target of completing the book in a particular time. But, keep in mind that point 2 and 3 mentioned above are not compromised. Targets should be pragmatic and not aggressive.
- Pick books according to your interest, which obviously anyone would do. But, you may feel sometimes that you are just slogging through. In order to make it interesting, be inquisitive and keep framing questions while reading the book. Search for answers on the internet. Apply the knowledge maybe by writing a blog or teaching or holding discussions or linking it to contemporary happenings. For instance, you come across a chapter on Indus Valley Civilisation in the book Discovery of India. You can link it to contemporary aspects of drainage, silos , smart city etc. This helps you remember better.
- Swami Vivekananda is a role model for many things including concentration. He was able to read quickly and remember well because of his pinpoint concentration. Develop concentration through meditation techniques(breathing/chanting/sound are effective ones) .
This is a subjective cum objective article and thus ,these are just a few points. There might be many more of them(actually, there are). You could share them if you want to.
We will soon come up with a series to improve reading skills(a weekly series probably).