Reading Comprehension: How to Retain More of Every Book You ReadSurely some people can read a book or watch a movie once and retain the plot perfectly. But for many, the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone. Exactly how much you forget, percentage-wise, varies, but unless you review the material, much of it slips down the drain after the first day, with more to follow in the days after, leaving you with a fraction of what you took in. Presumably, memory has always been like this. In the internet age, recall memory—the ability to spontaneously call information up in your mind—has become less necessary. Research has shown that the internet functions as a sort of externalized memory.
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7 Ways to Retain More of Every Book You Read
While most people—including scientists—agree on the benefits of reading books, not everyone seems to have been made equal when it comes to remembering their content. Others, not so much. And how can you better remember what you read? First, there is no magical hack to become a better reader. Sure, there are cool apps that give you access to book summaries, and fancy products or tools which promise to increase retention.
Why is it that some people seem to be able to read a book once and remember every detail of it for life, while others struggle to recall even the title a few days after putting down a book? Good reading habits not only help you read more but help you read better. Passive readers forget things almost as quickly as they read them. Active readers, on the other hand, retain the bulk of what they read. Another difference between these two types of readers is how the quantity of reading affects them differently. Passive readers who read a lot are not much further ahead than passive readers who read a little.
Think about a book you read last year. How much of it do you remember? Could you list ten things you learned from it? Can you even remember what books you read last year? Tests, term papers, and book reports were all just ways to help you retain that information. So engineer Robert Heaton invented a three-step system for reading a book like a student.
Don't let those words exit your brain the second they enter. But just because forgetting is a human phenomenon doesn't mean you should simply accept it. In fact, there are plenty of simple, creative strategies for retaining more of what you read — whether that's novels, news articles, or scientific textbooks.
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The myth of lost time.
But in the rush to do everything in less time, you might be missing a crazily simple way to commit more content to memory :. I mean sitting just long enough to. As Allison Preston, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin, explains in this research study release ,.
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