How To Read Books?

How to remember whole book + how to take book notes


Photo by Alexandra Fuller on Unsplash

“What is the benefit of reading books, if you can’t remember anything after 3 weeks?”

I started reading books when I was in 6th class, before that, I only read fairy tales that everyone knows, for example- Beauty and The Beast.

But, I don’t remember every book that I read. Then, what is the benefit of reading that book, It was a waste of time?

In high school, I realized that I should do something, to remember the books I read.

I started highlighting specific parts I read, And it didn’t work because I was highlighting and reading simultaneously, And after completing the book I don’t even remember where I placed it.

This taught me that highlighting is more, time waste than reading.

Then I started taking notes, in a separate notebook. It worked well but after some time I lost that notebook. It was the first time I thought, I should quit reading.

Let’s get to the point

Now I will tell you what worked for me, Kindle. Kindle changed my whole life.

  • You don’t have to carry a physical book
  • It saves your highlights automatically.
  • prices are good.
  • You can export your highlights to any note-taking app you want.

Now, I can go through highlights and I will get a gist of the book. But after some time I stopped reading them because I didn’t find them that much engaging. (after all, they are just highlights of the books I haven’t done anything in it).

Then I started taking notes by myself in my note-taking app that is notion.

It is a notion template(link), that I use for taking notes of books that I read.

Steps for making good notes:-

Firstly, write three lines that explain the idea of the whole book.

In this part, you have to think a little bit different, because you have to compress the story, from a big book to three lines. Sometimes it is difficult, if the story has twists and turning points. But it will force your brain to recall the whole book which will be beneficial.

Then write Impressions of the book.

Write first impressions of the book, in the beginning, what you thought and after reading the whole book what are your impressions. If first impressions are close to what you expected then it is good, but if it is not then read the summary so that you should not waste time reading the whole book and didn't get expected results.

Then write who should read it.

If you are a reader, then people will ask you what should they read, and sometimes you are not able to think of the name of a book. So, write in advance so that you don’t have to think on the spot.

Then write in what way it changed you.

just write how it changed your life/behavior/thoughts/ideas have changed as a result of reading the book. It is because you should take something from that book.

Then write the top three quotes that you like.

Just write the top three quotes but sometimes it tricky, for example when I was reading Romeo and Juliet I liked literally every quote from that book. So, I said goodbye to numbers and finally wrote 200+ quotes from that book. You don’t have to follow rules every time.

Then write a summary

This summary is for reading the book in 15–20 minutes. So, this summary should include every part of the book. Every bit of information but compressed into lines. Here you can write as much as you want. I personally write long summaries for books I like and short for 4-star books.

Then write notes and highlights.

here are the fully comprehensive, big, lengthy summary+notes+highlights. You can write as much as you want. I personally firstly export my highlights from kindle and write my thoughts about the line and how I can apply that lesson to my life.

adios amigo!



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