Reading books helps you a lot. A good book has the power to change you and eventually your life as well. But I believe each book has something of value to offer, and it is important for us to muster as much out of a book as we can. So following are some of the 5 Ways to Get the Most out of the Book You Read that I believe can help you learn the most.
5 Ways to Get the Most out of the Book You Read
1. Know What the Book is about
You can’t just pick up a book and start reading it and expect you’ll get the most of the book. A little homework beforehand helps you a lot to get the most out of the book. Maybe if you read reviews about the book, or talk about the particular book with those who recommended it to you; ask them questions like: ‘what valuable lessons did you learn?’ or ‘how much does this book has to offer?’. Doing so, you then know what you are about to read which gets you excited about the book and you try to get the most out of the book. And eventually you build a taste for certain genres of books, which helps you buy books that you are interested to read because let’s be honest, there are lots of books out there and you can’t read them all.
If no other source is available, the book itself has enough content about the book. It’s often on the cover of the book or in the first pages to let you know what the writer has written about. You can, moreover, take the help of review by people all over the world on Goodreads. I personally use these techniques which helps me a lot to get the most out of the book.
2: Just keep reading; just keep reading.
One of the things I loved about the popularly known movies, Finding Nemo and Finding Dorie, is their monologue of ‘just keep swimming, just keep swimming’. As we know, Dorie in the movie has a really bad memory, so she forgets almost everything. So for her to go about her daily life is a real struggle, but she just keeps swimming and eventually gets where she is supposed to be. So following this metaphor I say to all the readers out there, especially the fresh ones, keep reading in order to get the most out of the book.
I know starting a novel can be messy, especially a fiction. You don’t know what’s happening until you way into the book, but by that time most of the readers have given up. I have seen this problem first hand with myself and with my friends. They never succeed in finishing a book. But again, how can reading a book to the end help you when you don’t even know what you’re reading? Well, there’s a very certain chance that by the end of that book, you’ll be more connected to the characters, aware of the paths the story took, sensed the message the writer wanted to convey and of course, you would have by now finished a book which in itself is a big achievement. So never quit in the start or in the middle, once you’ve started, then take it all the way through.
3. Time management is vital
If you finish a book too late, you’ve lost the point of it and I’m sure by then, you must have started to hate the book, for it just won’t end. For a regular reader, the average time to finish a book is minimum a week, maximum two weeks, for within this time period it is very possible to finish a book of regular size (around 350 pages average).
But for those who don’t read regularly, I still believe, a month is the maximum time limit to get done with a novel. Because after that, you start to loathe the book and even worse, you start to loathe reading. Then the next time you see books, you won’t just loathe them, but you’d also loathe reading in general because it was such a struggle to finish the last book. So for not ruining your relationship with reading, time management is very, very important.
You can set specific hours each day for you reading alone, or you can skim-read through the book every little chance you get during the day. You can also set page limits for the day and then be strict in obeying it. These would help you first in building an idea about when you’d want to finish the book, and secondly, help you finish it during that time period.
4. Take notes (must take notes)
I do it on an application called Google Keep. For each new book, I make a new card and then keep posting sentences from the book as I read through it. It helps me quote the most important and heart-reaching lines in the book. Now I know it isn’t exactly note taking, but still, I get a good idea about what the book is and how this book is being important to me.
Basically, as you read through the book, you get various themes, especially in fiction, and you get an idea of how the book was written. It’s not important for you to like everything about the book, or agree with the author on every point. So keep taking notes every time you realize you’ve read something important in the book: maybe a sentence, a word, a thought. It’ll help you construct an idea about the book when you’ve finished it, and convey that idea whenever you recommend the book to someone else.
5. The ultimate, most important step: review it.
Since reading and writing are so closely related, I’d suggest WRITE a review at the end, but you can also make a video or record an audio of your review if writing isn’t your thing. But do always review the book.
Now Reviews could be tricky. And getting to write a solid review is really hard, but you’re not doing it for any newspaper or publishers, it’s just for you to reflect on what you read in the book. I do suggest reading sample reviews to help you write a more formalized review which you can also share with others.
Reviewing a book helps you in recalling what the story was, who the characters were, what were their motives, and finally, what the writer wanted to convey through this story or through this book. The beautiful thing here is that what you take away from a book is completely different from another person’s learnings. That’s why books are so universal and writers so important in our world – they help us think and feel, but not what to think or how to feel.
6. What are the Must-Reads Books?
Now that you know how to get the most out of the book, you need some book recommendation I guess. For that reason, you can continue reading 5 Must-Reads Books Every Student Should Read and Top 5 Must Read Novels Every Student Should Read.
As digitalized as our lives have become, having something that you can be friends with forever, learn from, cry and laugh with, to be with without any electricity; something so pure and well-conveyed – it must be one of the most valuable things to hold on to for us. So I hope that this article will help you read your books more formally, and most importantly, help you to actually enjoy reading and get the most out of the book you read because once you’ve felt how soul-pleasing reading can be, you’d always be looking for your next book.