Here are our reading tips and best practices! The team here at Brave Daily does a lot of reading, and I mean a lot. We thought we might be a great idea to share with you some of the best reading tips that we use on a regular basis.
- Take Notes: Taking a moment to write out what’s on your mind will actually help you to recall it at a later point in time (Lifehack). Whether it is within the book margins, in a separate notebook, or even sharing your reading with your social media network, putting your own spin on the words of your book helps your mind to process what you’re working your way through.
- Underline or Highlight: Grabbing a highlighter or your favorite pen to underline noteworthy parts of your book allows you to pause while you’re actively engaging with your book. Here are examples from Study Guides and Strategies for portions to underline or highlight as you read: (1) main subjects, (2) examples of these main ideas that help you understand them, or (3) unfamiliar vocabulary and/or definitions. Mark it up (easier in physical form) so that you can recall the information easier at a later date.
- Read With Others: This might seem like a scary thought to some, but joining a reading group is a great way to keep you accountable and force you to reflect on your reading. Check your local library or go the route of a virtual book club, like GoodReads Groups.
- Pray Before, During, and After: If you’re not up for processing what you’re reading with yourself (taking notes) or with other readers (book clubs), why not at least share what you’re learning with your Heavenly Father? Take a few minutes before and after you read to give thanks and prepare your heart for what you’ll be reading.
- Read More Than One Book at Once: We meant that. We’re actually giving you permission to put down the book you’re working on and come back to it later. “When I finally realized that reading multiple books at the same time wasn’t stressful, but liberating, it changed everything.” (BookRiot) We’ve found two to three is the sweet spot. Any more than that and we can add confusion to the mix.
- Skim the Outline: Whether you’ve got a Table of Contents or a Chapter list, take a moment before you start the book to get familiar with the overall outline.
- Stop Reading Aloud: As much as you think it’s helping, it’s both slowing you down and causing you to think about what you’re saying instead of what the book is saying. Want a Pro Tip? Don’t distract yourself by reading in your head, either. Imagine you’re having a conversation with somebody (Glendale Community College). Do you intentionally engage with what is being said or do you repeat it in your head while listening?
- Stop Reading Every Word: Like reading aloud, we can distract ourselves when we try to take in every word on the page. While it is important to stay in sync with what is being shared by the author, you might find that you’re focusing more on how they’re saying it than what they’re saying.
- Same Place, Different Book: Some people read best in the quiet of their home study. Others need background noise, like a coffee house or a public park, to get through their reading. Try different locations until you find what works for you and then consistently meet there to read.
- Same Time, Different Book: Set aside 15-30 minutes as part of your daily quiet time. You’d be surprised at how much you can get through with 15 minutes of focused time.
- Always Be on the Ready: Always have the book with you because you never know when you can squeeze in more reading. It can be difficult to do with a book, but now that we have readers on our smartphones it takes away that excuse.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Stop: Stopping isn’t quitting. Don’t be afraid to stop reading if it doesn’t connect with you. One of our writers used to be one that had to finish every book but has since changed my mind. Life’s too short to read something that we don’t enjoy.
- Keep Practicing: Read old books, read new books, read books you don’t want to read, and read these 10 Tips to Read More and Read Better by Tim Challies.
Do you have any habits or best practices to help you get through your books? If so, comment below!