Reading More Effectively: 5 Helpful Tips

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helpful tips
Photo credit: Nong Vang

There are so many captivating books out there that sometimes it is just difficult to find enough time to read at least some of them. To reach such a goal, you need to discover some ways that will make you into a more efficient reader, someone who is good at processing new information and finding the right books to read. Luckily, there are already lots of tips and tricks you can learn from to read faster and more efficiently. All of them are easy to follow and take very little time to get adapted to. Here are some of the most common practices that will help you transform your reading experience in one day.  

Quit If You Truly Feel Like It

Quit If You Truly Feel Like It
Photo credit: Alfons Morales

There is this long-preached sermon “winners don’t quit,” which is actually rather subjective and limited. It is not the panacea you need to apply in every single aspect of your life if you believe you are a winner. 

We have all been in a situation where you feel like the book is just not the thing you need at the moment, it is not that interesting, and instead of reading it for pleasure, you do it because “you must finish what you started.” Although there is some logic in such a belief and the feeling itself is quite understandable, it is much better to be respectful of your time and read only the things you genuinely like and enjoy. There is no need to power through the book to just put a tick on some list. It is much better to lay it aside and read something more relevant instead, something that will bring you much greater value. Listen to the needs of your inner self and follow them; that way, your reading will be much more efficient and productive.

Make Notes Of the Main Points

Make Notes Of the Main Points
Photo credit: David Travis

If you are looking for ideas on how to read more efficiently, there is one tried and tested you need to focus on – making notes. After reading a chapter, consider making notes on the key points you learned from the piece and would like to memorize. You don’t need to read quickly here. Efficient reading is not always about speed. Instead, you need to find ways to get more results out of your reading, to make sure the books that you devote your time to teach you something, give you some food for thought. 

 Did you know that, on average, people remember only 10% of the content of each book they read? To make that number go higher for yourself, think about some ways you can work with new information more productively. You should consider mind mapping; it is a technique where you make little notes of the things you need to remember and create meaningful links between them. Such an approach will help you structure and organize the new content in your head. 

Sacrifice Something Less Important

A lot of people feel like they don’t have enough time to read more books, so they are on the lookout for tips for speed reading. However, you can make more than enough time for reading by abandoning some of your unnecessary time-killing activities. For example, you can use the amount of time you spend watching TV and devote it to book reading. If the idea of this 2-3 hour commitment to book reading scares you, consider rotating the activities and doing one thing after another. Similarly, you can cut some of the time you waste on social media channels and find a valuable book to explore instead. 

Learning how to read books efficiently can take quite some time, so in case you have some other activities that take your time away, consider outsourcing them. For example, if you have some assignments you don’t want to do, you can get a professional writer to do them for you by following essayservice.com. Practicing smart time management will help you find enough space to develop excellent reading skills. 

Don’t Follow the Crowd

Don’t Follow the Crowd
Photo credit: Jacek Dylag

There is such a thing as reading for social approval. It means that if the majority of your social circle reads non-fiction books and praises them, the chances are high that you will choose to read the same non-fiction books, even if you feel more passionate about reading fiction. Similarly, instead of reading something you might be interested in, you might prefer to stick to some “top books” list that was created by some influencers or credible websites. However, following the herd will not necessarily make you happy or give you the needed literature to make your reading efficient. 

To improve the quality of your reading experience, consider exploring the things you actually enjoy reading about, something that makes you lose track of time and forget about any distraction that could stop you from reading an engaging book. If you are more into fiction, romance, or science fiction, then that is the very type of literature you should be focusing on. To put your mind at peace, even some of the most successful businessmen in the world, like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, are fond of reading science fiction books.

Scan the Text First

If you are interested in exploring speed reading tips and tricks, there are lots of exercises you can practice to increase the speed of your reading. For example, before you set out to read some piece, consider giving it a quick scan to grasp the gist. Same as with watching a movie trailer, you need to get yourself acquainted with the topic so you might look at the contents page, the title, some reviews at the beginning or the back of the book, and then read the first sentences of several passages. Such an introduction will already make it much easier for you to take in the new information and will give your reading a new speed.

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