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Remember What You Read

Updated on October 6, 2019
Davie Chen profile image

Davie is a Project Coordinator in a leading IT-service company in Scandinavia, who is also a passionate consumer of nonfiction literature.

Imagine a day when knowledge can be artificially integrated into the parts of our brain (hippocampus, cerebellum, amygdala and prefrontal cortex), wouldn’t it be awesome to solely compete by the ability of mixing the assimilated information, creativity and speed of performance? Maybe I need to calm down with science fictions for this weekend…

Memorization and taxation should be in our educational systems but since we are talking about remembering information, let’s talk about taxation some other time.

There are plenty of systems memory experts use and some of mine are pretty similar, only simpler and that’s the reason I want to share some of them with you.

Here are 3 ways to remember what you have read.


Abridge the Chapter

This is a simple yet time consuming way to memorize any pieces of texts. Oh the agonizing throwback of high school. But hey, finally we have no rules nor boundaries on shortening texts because the only one who’s grading the production is you!

The way I use to abridge the chapters is to highlight three to five essential items and transform the aggregated information into a couple of sentences.

At the end of the book, you might have only 10 to 20 sentences but that’s all you need. At least you can readily recognize the needed information instead of browsing through the entire book.


Take Notes of Unfamiliar Words

There is always unfamiliar vocabulary regarding any book regardless the background of the reader’s first language. Writing down every unsure words and phrases is necessary for learning.

A page might sometimes generate a couple of words and other times a dozen. Don’t worry about the amount of words you have to jot down and most importantly, don’t feel ashamed about the quantity. Even the most avid reader cannot recognize or remember all the words.

After writing down the words that have you alienated to before, start creating new sentences or apply them on your social media. The latter one is actually my most used the past year. Oftentimes, I aim to use up to 5 new words a day in order to transform and enhance the quality of my vocabulary to become more eloquent.

Can you imagine learning even one new word a day? That makes 365 new words in a year. Gotta love the magic of compounding.


Share Knowledge

Sharing is caring, right? When you share knowledge, something remarkable happens inside your skull. You are actually relearning what you have studied which is why some people say that “Speaking is a mere repeat of what you already know. Listening is where you acquire new information.” According to this theory, both processes build connections between neurons and change synapses.

Remembering either new information or existing ones requires repetitions. One of the oldest and most traditional methods that I have implemented since I was around 5 was rewriting new words and Chinese hanzis through merciless repetitions.


In summary: We are bombarded by hundreds of phrases every day. Social media, magazines and comic books might have taken a broadened placement in the world of literature but books are inevitably the best choice when s(he) is looking for enrichment for the intrinsic value of life. A book might cost 10 bucks but it might grant an opportunity for many millions.

A skill of not forgetting what you have read is an irreplaceable attribute.

Thank you for reading. See you next time!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Davie Chen

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