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How To Remember What You Read: 12 Quick and Easy Tips

Do you ever struggle to remember what you read in a book for more than just a few minutes? It can be frustrating when you know there is so much valuable knowledge in the book, but it’s not sticking with you.

There are reading strategies that will help improve your memory and retain information better. With these tips, you’ll never have trouble remembering what you read again!

Why you forget what you read

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Do you have a hard time remembering what you read because it’s just so boring? That’s not the case. You don’t remember things well when they are new to your brain, even if they’re interesting or important.

A little bit of background knowledge can help make something more memorable since it will link with other information in your memory, but you won’t remember it as well as information that is already a part of your long-term memory. Here are the twelve best reading strategies to help improve this!

Keep practicing these methods until they become second nature and you’ll have no problems remembering what you’ve read in books again.

12 Quick and easy tips to remember what you read

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Tip #1 – Take Notes

One of the best ways to remember what you read in a book is by taking notes. As you’re reading, pause every now and then and jot down some notes. When you have time later, go back through your notes to process the information again.

You can take these notes on a computer or notebook if you prefer typing over writing, but it’s best to avoid taking phone notes unless absolutely necessary since they tend not to be as comprehensive as written ones.

Tip #2 – Use a mind map

Use a mind map to remember what you’ve read. Mind maps are an effective strategy for taking notes and remembering the information from your reading. A basic way of using a mind map is by drawing a picture in the middle which represents what you have been reading about, then writing the topic name on each branch that leads out from this central image.

Tip #3 – Highlight or underline key points

Highlight or mark the most important passages. This will be helpful as you go back and review what you read.  This is one of the best ways to remember not only words but also concepts and ideas from your reading material. You can use different colored highliters to mark different points.

Tip #4 – Read like you speak

Speak the sentences in your head as you read them, this will help with comprehension and retention of information. This is especially helpful for reading technical materials or anything that has a lot of new concepts to grasp.

Tip #5 – Be curious

To remember what you read, be curious. Ask questions about the material as you are reading it and then look for answers in your readings. Asking question also forces you to engage with the text which will increase interest level of topic.

Tip #6 – Re-read the text

If you are reading but not understanding the material try rereading that section. Sometimes it is helpful to read a paragraph or sentence multiple times until they make sense and then continue on with your reading.

Tip #7 – Think of the big picture and how it relates to you

It is helpful when reading to try and find a larger purpose or meaning behind what you read. For example, if you are reading something for work look beyond the text itself and think about how this information could improve your performance at work or make life easier. This way you will be more likely to remember the information.

Tip #8 – Create a story from what you read and repeat it

When reading something try and create a story in your head that includes all of the main points and concepts taught within the text. Once finished, go back through this mental made up story out loud while repeating key words and sentences from the text.

This will not only help you remember what was read, but it will also aid in your comprehension of the topic at hand.

Tip #9 – Don’t let yourself get distracted while reading!

Remembering what we read is hard enough as it is. If you are trying to retain information while listening to music, watching Netflix or scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed you are not only making it difficult for yourself to concentrate on what is being read but also taking away valuable time.

Try and limit distractions while reading by turning off the TV, closing down Facebook and just focusing on the words written in front of you! By doing this you can ensure that you can remember what you read!

Tip #10 – Read Out Loud

I know that this tip might be a little unorthodox but it really does work. When we speak out loud or even just mumble to ourselves, the words sink into our brain much quicker than if they were only being processed by our eyes. This is because your voice is much more powerful than you might think and when we read out loud, it is like our voice has the ability to imprint into our memory.

Tip #11 – Read With a Friend

Another great way of remembering what you have read is by reading with a friend or even your pet! By having someone else around while you are trying to remember the information, your brain is involving itself in this process. When you combine reading with someone else, it works similarly to when we read out loud because our voice becomes an active part of the learning process.

Tip #12 – Use Memory Jars

Memory jars are excellent for remembering what you have just read about especially if they contain small items that remind you of the subject. If you use several jars, then what is written on each jar can be different and help your mind remember a lot more about the reading material than if it was all put in one big jar. For example, there could be a math memory jar for science and an art memory jar for history!


Do not forget that learning to remember what you read is an important skill and it can be easy if you use these 12 tips. You should try them out today to see how great they work.