Reading won’t make you smarter + 7 tips to get more out of reading

I write this to my past-self and to all the people incessantly reading dozens of books and hundreds of articles but see no results, and nothing new happens.

My bottom line here is:

Reading isn’t understanding. Reading isn’t learning.

Your idea of learning is probably wrong. In the school system you are forced to cram a bunch of information into your brain, and then take a standardized test and spew it all out. “Learning”, in this case, is measured by how much, and how accurately you memorized information.

You don’t need to understand or learn it. You just need to memorize it for a while.

After 15+ years in school you realize you were never taught to learn or understand. It’s pretty fucked. Or, you never realize it and live your life thinking you’re dumb.

But, the sooner you figure out how to learn, the sooner you can start to make serious changes in every aspect of your life.

7 tips to get more out of reading

  • Write down your expectations of the book
  • Read “Your Brain at Work” by David Rock and learn how to overcome distractions and prime your brain for learning. This single book made a huge difference on how I see my own shortcomings and how to go around them. Go read it now and I guarantee it will change everything!
  • Turn your phone off
  • Don’t speed read
  • Take notes! Take lots of notes! You’re not going to remember, take a note.
  • Write a short article for yourself along the lines of “What I learned from reading BOOK_NAME”(if you add your expectations this becomes quite a solid book review, by the way)
  • Might seem odd at first, but: write more!

My google drive is full of pictures I took of my kindle before I realized there was a highlight function in the kindle itself.

Just to show that note taking can be easy.

To summarize this article, don’t just read books, study them, otherwise you’re literally wasting time, unless you’re reading for pleasure and don’t plan to do anything with the information.

This was a really short article aimed at helping whoever feels they aren’t getting enough from their long hours holding a book. I hope this helps!

Strong opinions, loosely held.