The Best Way to Read More Books (and Remember What You’ve Read)

“ I barely ride in my function and read all day. ”
This is how Warren Buffett, one of the most successful people in the business world, describes his day. Sitting. read. He advises everyone to read more, and that ’ s surely a goal we can all get behind. Our personal improvements at Buffer regularly come back to the books we read —how we aim to read more and make reading a habit. I imagine you ’ re in the lapp boat adenine well. Reading more is one of our most common ambitions. so how do we do it ? And what are we to do with all that information once we have it ?

Reading more and remembering it all is a discussion with a distribute of different layers and a lot of interesting possibilities. I ’ megabyte happy to lay out a few possibilities here on how to read more and remember it all, and I ’ five hundred beloved to hear your thoughts below. But beginning, let ’ s set some baselines …

How fast do you read?

One of the obvious shortcuts to reading more is to read faster. That ’ s likely the first place a set of us would look for a flying acquire in our read act. so how fast do you read ?
Staples ( yes, the agency supply chain ) collected accelerate reading data as part of an advertising campaign for selling e-readers. The crusade besides included a speed reading tool that is hush available to try. Go ahead and take the test to see how fast you read. ( My score was 337 words per minute. Yours ? ) The Staples speed reading test includes data on how other demographics stack up in words per minute. According to Staples, the average adult reads 300 words per minute.

  • Third-grade students = 150 words per minute
  • Eight grade students = 250
  • Average college student = 450
  • Average “high level exec” = 575
  • Average college professor = 675
  • Speed readers = 1,500
  • World speed reading champion = 4,700

Average Reading Speed Is reading faster always the right solution to the goal of reading more? not constantly. Comprehension calm matters, and some reports say that accelerate reading or skimming leads to forgotten details and poor memory. still, if you can bump up your words per minute marginally while even maintaining your read comprehension, it can surely pay dividends in your bay to read more. There ’ s another way to look at the motion of “ reading more, ” besides .

How much do you read?

There ’ s reading fast, and then there ’ s reading lots. A combination of the two is going to be the best room to supercharge your recitation routine, but each is valuable on its own. In fact, for many people, it ’ s not about the time test of going beginning-to-end with a book or a floor but rather more about the fib itself. Speed reading doesn ’ metric ton truly help when you ’ rhenium read for pleasure. In this feel, a desire to read more might just mean having more fourth dimension to read, and reading more content—books, magazines, articles, web log posts—in whole. Let ’ s start off with a reading service line. How many books do you read a year ? A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that adults read an average of 17 books each year. The key news here is “ average. ” There are huge extremes at either end, both those who read means more than 17 books per year and those who read way less—like nothing. The same Pew Research sketch found 19 percentage of Americans don ’ thyroxine read any books. A Huffington Post/YouGov poll from 2013 showed that number might be even higher : 28 percent of Americans haven’t read a book in the past year. Wanting to read more puts you in reasonably elect party .

5 ways to read more books, blogs, and articles

1. Read for speed: Tim Ferriss’ guide to reading 300% faster Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek and a handful of early bestsellers, is one of the leading voices in lifehacks, experiments, and getting things done. So it ’ s no wonder that he has a speed-reading method to boost your reading travel rapidly treble. His plan contains two techniques :

  1. Using a pen as a tracker and pacer, like how some people move their finger back and forth across a line as they read
  2. Begin reading each new line at least three words in from the first word of the line and end at least three words in from the last word

The first base technique, the tracker/pacer, is largely a tool to use for mastering the second technique. Ferriss calls this irregular technique Perceptual Expansion. With practice, you train your peripheral vision to be more effective by picking up the words that you don ’ thyroxine traverse directly with your eye. According to Ferriss :

Untrained readers use up to ½ of their peripheral field on margins by moving from 1st word to last, spending 25-50% of their time “reading” margins with no content.

The below visualize from shows how this concept of perceptual expansion might look in terms of reading :Perceptual Expansion You ’ ll find like ideas in a lot of amphetamine reading tips and classes ( some going so far as to suggest you read line by channel in a snake fashion ). rapid eye movements called saccades occur constantly as we read and as our eyes jump from margins to words. Minimizing these is a key way to boost your reading times. The takeaway here : If you can advance your peripheral vision, you may be able to read faster—maybe not 300 percentage fast, but every little sting counts. 2. Try a brand new way of reading Is there even board for invention in reading ? A couple of fresh reading tools say yes. Spritz and Blinkist take unique approaches to helping you read more—one helps you read faster and the other aid you digest books quick. first, Spritz. As mentioned above in the speed read part, there is a lot of pine away apparent motion when reading side-to-side and top-to-bottom. Spritz cuts all the movement out entirely. spritz shows one give voice of an article or book at a prison term inside a box. Each son is centered in the box according to the Optimal Recognition Point—Spritz ’ randomness term for the stead in a son that the eye naturally seeks —and this center letter is colored red. Spritz has however to launch anything related to its technology, but there is a bookmarklet called OpenSpritz, created by, that lets you use the Spritz learn method acting on any textbook you find on-line. here is what OpenSpritz looks like at 600 words per hour :OpenSpritz test The Spritz web site has a demonstration on the home page that you can try for yourself and speed up or slow down the speeds as you need. Along with Spritz is the newfangled app Blinkist. Rather than a reimagining of the way we read, Blinkist is a reimagining of the way we consume books. Based on the belief that the wisdom of books should be more accessible to us all, Blinkist takes popular works of non-fiction and breaks the chapters down into bite-sized parts. These alleged “ blinks ” control key insights from the books, and they are meant to be read in two minutes or less. Yes, it ’ s a draw like Cliff Notes. Though the way the information is delivered—designed to look bang-up and be eminently functional on mobile devices so you can learn wherever you are—makes it one-of-a-kind. here is an exemplar of the Blinkist table of contents from Ben Horowitz ’ s The intemperate thing About Hard Things :The Hard Thing About Hard Things I ’ meter certain we can agree that it ’ s a batch easier to read more when a book is distlled into 10 chapters, two minutes each. 3. Read more by making the time Shane Parrish of the Farnam Street web log read 14 books in March, and he tackles huge totals like this month-in and month-out. How does he do it ? He makes it a precedence, and he cuts out time from other activities .

What gets in the way of reading?

I don’t spend a lot of time watching TV. (The lone exception to this is during football season where I watch one game a week.)

I watch very few movies.

I don’t spend a lot of time commuting.

I don’t spend a lot of time shopping.

If you look at it in terms of naked numbers, the average person watches 35 hours of television receiver each week, the average permute time is one hour per day round-trip, and you can spend at least another hour per week for grocery store shop.

All in all, that ’ s a sum of 43 hours per workweek, and at least some of that could be spent reading books. 4. Buy an e-reader In the same Pew inquiry cogitation that showed Americans ’ read habits, Pew besides noted that the average reader of e-books reads 24 books in a year, compared to a person without an e-reader who reads an modal of 15. Could you actually read nine more books a year good by purchasing an e-reader ? surely the engineering is intended to be easy-to-use, portable, and commodious. Those factors alone could make it easier to spend more fourth dimension read when you have a plain minute. Those spare minutes might not add up to nine books a year, but it ’ ll still be time well spent. 5. Read more by not reading at all This is quite counterintuitive advice, and it comes from a quite counterintuitive book .How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read How to Talk About Books You Haven ’ metric ton Read, written by University of Paris literature professor Pierre Bayard, suggests that we view the act of reading on a spectrum and that we consider more categories for books besides plainly “ have or haven ’ metric ton read. ” Specifically, Bayard suggests the surveil :

  • books we’ve read
  • books we’ve skimmed
  • books we’ve heard about
  • books we’ve forgotten
  • books we’ve never opened.

He even has his own classification system for keeping cut of how he ’ mho interacted with a book in the past .

UB book unknown to me

SB book I have skimmed

HB book I have heard about

FB book I have forgotten

++ extremely positive opinion

+ positive opinion

negative opinion

extremely negative opinion

possibly the key to reading more books is merely to look at the act of reading from a different perspective ? In Bayard ’ south system, he basically is counting books he ’ s skimmed, listen about, or forget as books that he ’ randomness read. How might these new definitions alter your read full for the class ?

3 ways to remember what you read

1. Train your brain with impression, association, and repetition A great place to start with book memory is with understanding some keystone ways our mind stores information. here are three specific elements to consider :

  1. Impression
  2. Association
  3. Repetition

Let ’ s say you read dale Carnegie ’ s How to Win Friends and Influence People, one of our favorites here at Buffer. You loved the information and want to remember arsenic much as potential. hera ’ second how : Impression – Be impressed with the text. Stop and picture a scenery in your mind, tied adding elements like greatness, daze, or a cameo from yourself to make the stamp firm. If Dale Carnegie is explaining his antipathy for criticism, mental picture yourself receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace and then spiking the Nobel Prize onto the dais. ( Another whoremaster with impression is to read an important enactment out loudly. For some of us, our sensitivity to data can be greater with sounds rather than visuals. ) Association – Link the textbook to something you already know. This technique is used to bang-up effect with memorization and the construction of memory palaces. In the case of Carnegie ’ s script, if there is a particular principle you wish to retain, think back to a time when you were contribution of a specific example involving the principle. Prior cognition is a great room to build association. Repetition – The more you repeat, the more you remember. This can occur by literally re-reading a certain passing or in highlighting it or writing it down then returning to it again later. Practicing these three elements of remembering will help you get better and better. The more you work at it, the more you ’ ll remember. 2. Focus on the four levels of reading Mortimer Adler ’ s reserve, How to Read a Book, identifies four levels of read :

  1. Elementary
  2. Inspectional
  3. Analytical
  4. Syntopical

Each dance step builds upon the previous step. elementary read is what you are taught in school. Inspectional read can take two forms : 1 ) a immediate, at leisure read or 2 ) skimming the book ’ second foreword, table of contents, index, and inside jacket. Where the real work ( and the veridical memory begins ) is with analytic interpretation and syntopical read. With analytic understand, you read a book thoroughly. More so than that tied, you read a book according to four rules, which should help you with the context and understanding of the reserve .

  1. Classify the book according to subject matter.
  2. State what the whole book is about. Be as brief as possible.
  3. List the major parts in order and relation. Outline these parts as you have outlined the whole.
  4. Define the problem or problems the author is trying to solve.

The concluding level of read is syntopical, which requires that you read books on the same subject and challenge yourself to compare and contrast as you go. As you advance through these levels, you will find yourself incorporating the genius techniques of impression, association, and repetition along the room. Getting into detail with a book ( as in the analytic and syntopical flush ) will help cement impressions of the book in your mind, develop associations to early books you ’ ve read and ideas you ’ ve learned, and enforce repetition in the thoughtful, study nature of the unlike read levels. 3. Keep the book close (or at least your notes on the book) One of the most common threads in my research into remembering more of the books you read is this : Take good notes.Bookmarks scribble in the margins as you go. Bookmark your favorite passages. Write a follow-up when you ’ ve finished. Use your Kindle Highlights extensively. And when you ’ ve done these things, return to your notes sporadically to review and refresh .Shane Parrish of Farnam Street is a serial note taker, and he finds himself constantly returning to the books he reads.

After I finish a book, I let it age for a week or two and then pick it up again. I look at my notes and the sections I’ve marked as important. I write them down. Or let it age for another week or two.

flush Professor Pierre Bayard, the author of How to Talk About Books You Haven ’ thymine Read, identifies the importance of note-taking and reappraisal :

Once forgetfulness has set in, he can use these notes to rediscover his opinion of the author and his work at the time of his original reading. We can assume that another function of the notes is to assure him that he has indeed read the works in which they were inscribed, like blazes on a trail that are intended to show the way during future periods of amnesia.

I ’ ve tried this method acting for myself, and it has wholly changed the way I perceive the books I read. I look at books as investments in a future of learning rather than a fleeting moment of insight, soon to be forgotten. I store all the reviews and notes from my books on my personal web log so I can search through them when I need to remember something I ’ ve read. ( Kindle has a rather helpful feature on-line, excessively, where it shows you a daily, random foreground from your archive of highlights. It ’ s a capital room to relive what you ’ ve read in the past. )Kindle highlights It ’ s not crucial which method you have for note-taking and review so hanker as you have one. Let it be arsenic simple as potential to complete thus that you can make certain you follow through .

Over to you

How many books do you read each class ? What will be your goal for this year ? What ’ s your best tip for reading more and remembering more ? I ’ vitamin d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. If you liked this post, you might besides like The Two Brain Systems that Control Our attention : The Science of Gaining Focus and 5 Unconventional Ways to Become a Better Writer ( Hint : It ’ randomness About Being a Better Reader ). image credits : Patrick Gage via Compfight,, OpenSpritz ,

informant :
Category : How To

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.