Even people who read (or listen to) lots of books don’t always accomplish the goals of reading: Goals like gaining new insights, learning new facts, making connections where they had never seen them before, among many, many others. Unfortunately, soon after we finish reading the book, we quickly forget those insights. Author James Clear offers three gems of advice for going beyond reading a book, all the way to capturing and taking away what you gain from your reading. 

Stack of colorful books and earphones
1 | Make all of your notes searchable

Clear says having searchable book notes all saved in the same place is essential for returning to those ideas later. Doing this means you can find something even if you can’t remember the name of the book where you read it.  Clear stores his book notes in Evernote and gets notes into the software in three ways:

    1. For audiobooks, he uses his laptop to create a new note whenever he starts reading a new book. He types his notes in as he listens to the book.
    2. For print books, he follows the same process except he places the book on a
      book stand making it easier to read and type (instead of putting down and picking up the book constantly).
    3. His favorite way to read and take notes is to use a Kindle Paperwhite. It requires no typing. He merely highlights a passage while reading. Then he uses the software application Clippings to import all his Kindle highlights to Evernote.

2 | Integrate thoughts as you read

Clear focuses on how the book he’s reading connects “with all of the ideas that are already knocking around inside my head.” Whenever possible, “I try to integrate the lessons I’m learning with previous ideas.” When those insights happen, he adds them to his notes.

3 | Summarize the book in one paragraph.

As soon as he finishes a book, he attempts to summarize the entire text in just three sentences. “It’s just a game, but I do find it to be a useful exercise because it forces me to review my notes and consider what was really important about the book.”

VIA | JamesClear.com. “Reading Comprehension Strategies: How to Retain More of Everything You Read

HT | Lifehacker.com

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