How to retain information when reading

June 08, 2021

I'm a big fan of reading non-fiction knowledge books but I almost forget whatever I've read eventually, so what's the purpose of reading this much if we can't retain the information?



One sentence solution: Read it again !!

Just like you, I read only non-fictional books. There is isn't any logical reason to answer why. For me, I want to invest my time in knowing ideas, psychology, biographies, strategy and many more. My fictional exposure is limited to watching movies. If you are also thinking the same, then continue reading.

As you rightly pointed out, we forget many points that are discussed in non-fictional books. Sometimes, things pass over the head. So should we stop reading? NO !! These books are someone’s life work, complied in 500 or so pages. Even the author finds it difficult to express all his experience in one shot. Try reading classics such as Origin of Species or Das Kapital, I was literally fighting to understand the context.


What you will gain from them ?


You have no idea, what this word means to me now. In my work, personal, and social life, almost everything is governed by perspectives. Dealing with problems from multiple perspectives, looking at things from another person's perspective, the list is endless.



I am reading lots of articles on- age of consumerism and people losing attention span. There is an absolutely brilliant look at this: Future Shock; Alvin Toffler. He talks about-’ how a reduction in attention span is affecting our personal lives’. Nonfictional books help in training your mind to focus and get in the depth of things.



Life is too short to make mistakes, correct them, and move forward. Smart people learn more from other's mistakes. So read mistakes from nonfictional books.



Nonfictional work trains your mind to think critically. You are becoming a subject matter expert even when you have no prior education or exposure to the topic. I am a mechanical engineer and just from reading I have gained exposure to psychology, finance, management, strategy, ideologies, and many more.

I can keep on writing about the benefits of reading nonfictional books, but I think I made my point. So, next time you forget what you have read, remember it is worth reading it again.



 So we shouldn't read fictions?

You must be thinking, why to waste time on things that doesn't exist?Just because things are intangible, its importance must not be undervalued.

So what intangible value a fictional book offer?  IMAGINATION


When you read a fictional work, in back of your mind you are creating a world,adding characters, picturing conversations, coloring and beautifying them. These are your imagination. Creativity originates from imagining things that doesn't exist. It is gift to have an imaginative mind, if not you can practice it.

Reading fiction is the best way to practice imagination.

Nikola Tesla once said “ I can picture complete machine before inventing.”

Besides above reasons fictional books offer: entertainment, laughter, fun, curiosity, emotions. Reading them is hell of an experience(better than movies).



1 comment:

  1. I think reading your 3-4 minute article also contributes a lot in building the perspective captured in the book. Good work keep up!!


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