We’ve all been there; we’ve all put off getting required reading done until the day before. Maybe you’re in a book club, or you’re trying to get an entire book read for school the night before. It can be discouraging when you’re flipping through pages trying to figure out how you’re going to get it all done and not forget anything. Don’t think you can’t power through it though: There’s a way you can read an entire book in one day without forgetting everything. Take a look at these tips so you can absorb all that information. Let’s buckle down and get started!
1. Be an active reader
You’ll have a higher chance of remembering the information if you write down a list of questions before you begin reading. You’ll be able to answer the questions as you go and be able to look back and give yourself a refresher if you need it. Even when you’ve finished the book, you can save the answered questions if you ever find that you’ve forgotten some information down the road.
2. Break up your reading
You may or may not know this, but when you focus on a single task for an extended period of time, you experience something called ego depletion. This will cause your mental energy, self-control, and willpower to essentially wipe out. If you don’t allow yourself to take breaks, your motivation will diminish, which means the probability of finishing that book in a day is low. You have to be able to mix things up.
Set yourself a timer and read for 20 minutes, then take a break and do something that’ll give you some energy for 5-10 minutes. You can go for a walk, listen to music and dance around, do daily exercises, etc. Do whatever you have to do, but make sure it’s going to keep you active so that when you do come back to reading, you feel refreshed.
Another recommendation is instead of taking breaks, break your book up into sections. Use bookmarks to separate your book into four sections of reading. When you’ve reached your bookmark, give yourself a reward with your favorite snack, video games, or an episode of a show you just can’t seem to stop yourself from watching.
3. Take notes to refresh yourself later
You shouldn’t just be active during your breaks; staying active while reading can keep you focused as well. If you don’t like writing things down, pull out a highlighter and highlight some points throughout so you can go back later and break them up to better retain the information. This can include words you have never seen before, character motives, something you read that makes you feel something emotionally, major plot points, etc.
If you write or highlight as you go along, you won’t have to try and remember later on when your memory might be a little fuzzy. If you know you’ll have to discuss information in the book or write an essay, you’ll already have information outlined to make it easier on yourself.
It may even be more beneficial for you if you’re able to block out some time to expand your notes. I recommend doing this during a break when you’re having a snack or something. You can look up some of those words you read and weren’t sure of, go back and overlook points you read that stood out to you, and search the internet to get a better understanding of some information you didn’t understand. You may also find that comparing notes to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes can be extremely helpful also.
4. Find the perfect reading spot
If you think about it, you can pretty much read anywhere. However, you may find that reading just anywhere can be pretty distracting. If you want to finish a book in a day, you’re going to have to find a spot that will keep you focused on your reading. There may be a room in your house that you find most relaxing. Maybe your bedroom with candles lit, or a quiet space that you find really comfortable. Leave your phone in a different room, put in some earplugs, or go to a spot in a library where there won’t be a lot of people. It’s easy to start people watching and lose your focus, so find a place that gives you as much solitude as possible.