A System for Remembering What you Read
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For non-fiction book reading, Shane Parrish recommends that you
- Learn How to Read A Book.
- Start with the index, table of contents, and the preface. This will give you a good sense of the book.
- Be ok with deciding now is not the time to read the book.
- Read one book at a time.
- Put it down if you lose interest.
- Mark up the book while reading it. Questions. Thoughts. And, more importantly, connections to other ideas.
- At the end of each chapter, without looking back, write some notes on the main points/arguments/take-aways. Then look back through the chapter and put anything down you missed.
- Specifically note anything that was in the chapter that you can apply somewhere else.
- When you’re done the book, take out a blank sheet of paper and explain the core ideas/arguments of the book to yourself. Where you have problems, go back and review your notes. This is the Feynman Technique.
- Put the book down for a week.
- Pick the book back up, re-read all of your notes/highlights/marginalia/etc. Time is a good filter – what’s still important? Note this in the inside of the cover with a reference to the page number.
- Put the notes that you want to keep in your common place book/resource.
Writing while you read -- highlights and notes -- seems to be key.