13 simple ways to remember what you read

A boy distracted by his thoughts while reading books

Why it happens that we don’t remember what we read in a book. Mainly because we don’t know how to read a book. Here, In this article, I will showcase the 13 proven ways to remember what you read in a book.

Despite visual aids in today’s world, traditional reading is still an important skill. Most people doesn’t read because they doesn’t remember most of the points they read because remembering is a tough task, yet important in order to implement the important tips you read. It doesn’t imply to fiction books, yet required in non-fiction so that we remember what we read for longer period to make ourselves better in personal as well as professional life.

Most of this is due to the lack of reading skills too. Though, reading skills can be improved, it takes lot of hard work and continuous determination for some time. So, Here, I will tell you some of the important ways to remember most of the information you read and how they work in your life to improve your reading skills.

13 ways to remember what you read

1. Identify Your Purpose of Reading

What is your motto of reading this book? Is it for Entertainment? Is it for knowledge? Is it for exams?

Having a motto before reading a book makes you more conscious towards reading it. As you need a goal to score in Football or a goal in life for success, you also need a motive to read a book.

Because, there is no success without goal and reading aimlessly is useless information which will neither stay with you neither help you in life.

Therefore, Reading with a purpose is vital and assessing that purpose while reading is crucial. The purpose will helps in focusing and ultimately remember what you read.

2. Skim the content

Before reading any book, skim through some of the pages in the book which includes Preface, Contents Page, index, and even Bibliography if available. It gives you a brief idea of the book and the author.

This is to focus on the important points for which you are reading the book and must read only those parts which fulfills your purpose of reading.

3. Read Aloud

Reading books make you contagious

Reading loud helps in concentration and focus on reading which our brains are not used to. As you know, “Empty mind is Devil’s home” since our mind gets distracted from our work every now and then.

Our brain has the capability to think a lot in a moment making it difficult for anyone to focus on one task, unless we have mastered to focus.

As you read loudly, the brain doesn’t process different types of sensory information in isolation from each other, so it may be of great help to process and read a book without distraction.

4. Avoid any Distraction

Switching off any phones, alarms, TV, or any kind of contact with other is a big NO while reading. Sit alone in a comfortable position, with some water, snacks to take care of your hunger and thirst to avoid any excuses from reading.

Also check your room temperature and any other factors that might take your mind off reading. Always read when you are fresh because tiredness might help you sleep while reading. Energetic person has a clear mindset of reading and is moe focused towards his/her goal.

5. Hard Copy

Mobile phones are a source of distraction and therefore reading through e-books could not be considered good if you are a beginner. Research in Oregon University further clears that Online reading is harder to recall.

Whereas, Hard copy is easy to read as they are easier on eyes and helps you in becoming a better reader. Hard copies are hard to get distracted and helps you in absorbing more information that any online reading or E-Books.

6. Highlight Important Lines

Highlighting a text while reading doesn’t mean that you have to highlight everything you see as important. The key points must be highlighted in order to remember them the next time you read or revise the book.

As a beginner, I used to feel everything in the book is important and used to highlight most of the content in a page. But over, the years I learned that only few words from a page should be highlighted.

Before highlighting, you must ask yourself a question. Does that line serves the purpose you are reading for?

If yes, the word, or line is worth highlighting.

7. Think While Reading

Another good thing about Reading is your imagination is not scrapped as in visual aids. If we try to create mental picture of a story, we read, it helps us to memorize much easily.

Try to create as much mental picture you can create of an event, or person, or a story to remember the context of the book.

For example: I remembered the exact date of start of World War because, I imagined the war with Germany attacking on other countries with big letters of date created in that imagination of mine.

8. Practice as You Read

To be able to read productively, Focus is must. Without focus, nothing is achievable. Therefore, Reading in short segments could be helpful for beginners.

You can start reading for at least 5-10 minutes in a segment with full concentration and then go back to practicing or rephrasing everything you just read to remind yourself again so that you can implement the principles on yourself.

9. Ask Questions

If you are not able focus on any book for a long time or unable to complete it, that may also be due to your lack of questioning.

While or before reading, you must be able to ask questions from yourself and from the book to motivate yourself to read books.

As a reader, I too question myself and the book before reading any non-fiction book. Most important of those questions are

  • What is my purpose of reading this book?
  • How can this book help me?
  • When must I implement the principles?
  • How must I read these principles or ideas in my life?

10. Take Notes

Taking notes while reading helps you in focusing and attention, and also helps you to gather more information in your mind.

It promotes active learning, increases span of time of attention, and increases creativity.

A reader must read and then try to quiz themselves to check if everything is memorized. Taking notes is also an important task which helps you to memorize the key points for a longer period of time and also helps in revision.

11. Stop Reading When Bored

When you are bored of reading, you must stop reading because there is no point reading a book which you doesn’t like. A book reader will never be reading a crappy book and will finish in between.

There is no rule to end a book if started. Although, if you are not a reader, you might get bored instantly, so you should start by identifying your genre and then reading your favourite stories.

Everyone doesn’t like non-fiction. Even reading a fiction is a good habit which helps in many ways.

There is a general rule. If you doesn’t like the first 50-60 pages of a book, you must drop the book and start reading the next.

12. Avoid Speed Reading

Reading is a beautiful art, which is developed with constant focus and concentration. Developing a habit of reading is essential, or you would just be completing a book without any purpose.

Speed Reading must be avoided at all times. There is a constant race to complete the number of books but we must not be part of a race where we don’t stand a chance.

Reading at a constant pace at which you can understand everything you read is a normal thing. There is no rush to complete a book. If you are reading even 1 book in a month, it is quite normal as you will be completing 12 books in a year. But the knowledge, wisdom, and values you learn from them is more important.

13. Discuss With Someone

If you have ever paid attention, during your school days, you must remember when we used to teach some concept to our friend, we ultimately remembered it better.

Same thing happens with us in later part of life with novels too. If we discuss something with others, it might remain in our mind for a longer period of time.

I would suggest you to discuss the book with your friends, relatives, cousins, etc. after completing a book. It would help you to determine the concepts which are cleared to you and remember and which you don’t remember and then go back and re-read the book.


These 13 tips I shared with you have helped me and many others to remember what we read in a book. These might be helpful to you too.

No matter how much time it takes you to develop a good memorizing power, just read because it is the only way to increase your intelligence and stay on top of your work.

Many people also have confusion do we should read loud or silent do click on the link below to find the answer.

Loud Reading and Silent Reading | What should you prefer?.

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