5 Ways To Get The Most Out of Each Book You Read

Kristen Walters

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A man and woman reading a book together.RODNAE/Pexels

We all know that reading is a great way to spend your spare time. Sometimes though, it can be hard to find the motivation to read more than one book at a time. Reading in bed before going to sleep is an excellent way to form good habits concerning nighttime activities.

When we finish reading something for the day, our brains are still working through things, so it's important not just turn off our minds when we go night-night. Reading has been proven as a great habit for people who want or need better quality sleep because it helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

It's always important to read a book with an open mind and not just skim the pages. Make sure that you are reading books that interest you. Take time to process what you have read by reflecting on it before moving onto another chapter or subject. Try not to compare one book to another as they can be entirely different in their content and message. 

1. Set a goal for the number of pages you want to read each day and stick to it

The success of your reading journey depends on many variables, but setting a specific and achievable goal is key. You can also find out what other people are doing with their time to make progress towards your goals. 

How do you feel after reading an entire book? What about finishing one chapter per day? Setting a goal can be difficult at times, but don't stop there once you reach that milestone! Set another goal for yourself and keep moving forward.

Setting a goal for the number of pages you want to read each day and sticking to it can help you create a reading routine. The average person reads about 250 words per minute, so if your goal is 20 pages, that’s 5 minutes or 500 words. Set a timer or alarm on your phone to remind yourself when to take a break.

2. Keep a list of books that interest you and mark them off as you finish them

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your phone, mindlessly browsing the internet, trying to find something interesting to read? Do you have piles of books on your nightstand that just haven't been touched in weeks? I know how it feels like. All those book reviews and recommendations from friends can be overwhelming.

Personally, I keep a list of books that interest me and mark them off as I finish them. This is an important life skill because it will allow you to track which genres or topics interest you. It also provides an opportunity to create new reading lists from your favorite authors. The ultimate goal is for every book on your reading list to be crossed off.

The first step to reading a book is knowing what it's about. You may have heard of some books that sound interesting, but you don't know anything about them. The best way to find out more about a book is by asking someone who has read it or looking at the back cover description.

3. Read with a friend or family member so that there is someone to discuss the book with later on

 Reading is so much more enjoyable when done with someone else. You get to discuss your opinions about what you read while also having someone there to help you get stuck on anything difficult. 

The best way to fully enjoy a book is by reading with someone. This allows for discussion and lively debate about the themes, characters, or plot points found within the pages of a novel. Reading with someone also helps to foster an environment of learning and discovery as one person discovers something new in their favorite story. At the same time, another may offer a different perspective on what they just read. 

4. Use sticky notes to highlight important passages in your book 

If you're like me, you prefer to highlight passages in your books with a pen or pencil. But what happens when the book is loaned out? Or if it's an eBook and highlighting doesn't work? You have to find each highlighted passage again. That's where sticky notes come in handy.

Please write down the page number of each passage on a sticky note and stick them at the top of that page so that they are easy to find later on. For example, you could highlight the important passages in your book and then review them later. This will allow you to spend more time reading new material rather than re-reading what has already been covered.

Another way is to create flashcards with keywords that represent particular ideas or themes from your book so that as you're going through the text if there's a word that makes sense but doesn't stick out, it can be looked up for further clarification.

5. Take time between reading sessions to ponder what you've just read

Ever notice how much easier it is to focus on reading when you're not constantly being interrupted? It's natural that, as humans, we have an almost constant need to be doing something, but all those distractions can really take their toll on our ability to focus and do meaningful work.

It turns out that there are actually many benefits associated with taking time off from work or other tasks now and then so that our brains can rest, recharge, and process information more effectively.

As you read, it's important to take a moment every once in a while to think about what you just read. This will help you understand and retain the material better. Also, think about how the book relates to other things in your life and make connections between ideas in different books.

Read the text repeatedly and write down your thoughts on what you just read to make connections with other parts of the text. In this way, when you return to the text for more reading, it will be easier for you to follow along and understand what is happening. This also gives your brain time to process everything so that when it's back into the story, there's less of a chance that you'll forget something from earlier in the book.

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