Five Effective Methods for Book Study:

"Books are honey… Please beware of fake bees."

We all know that reading books can change our lives. For a better life, we must make a habit of reading books; however, getting ourselves into this habit often seems challenging.

In this text, I want to share some methods that have worked for me in becoming an avid reader.

1. Initial Pre-Reading

How much do you like disorder? When most people are asked about disorder, they usually say they dislike it, and indeed, humans inherently hate disorder in their minds. But when it comes to action, many of us are quite disorganized.

Disorder in tasks leads to the "entropy effect." The entropy effect means that the more disorder there is, the less focus we have to organize our minds. Therefore, it is better to have a pre-reading session before diving into a book.

In the initial pre-reading, I aim to get a general understanding of the book's topic and see where I should store this information in my brain. Imagine a warehouse where everything is thrown in without any order. Now, imagine trying to find an old book in this warehouse. We would have to spend hours searching, wasting a lot of time.

Now, imagine a neat and orderly room where everything is in its place, and we know exactly where to find each item. If you categorize information in your brain, it's like your brain is a room, and the information you put in it are the items placed in the room. In this way, when you need information, your brain can easily find and deliver it to you.

I usually turn titles and headings into questions; for example, I ask myself: "What do I know about this topic?"

This method gives you a general perspective on the text and makes summarizing much easier. Pre-reading also helps you find key points and important details more efficiently.

2. Implement the 30-Minute Reading Rule for Yourself

By a habit of reading, I don't mean reading textbooks. The habit of reading aims to turn a person into a regular reader who reads for at least 30 minutes every day. Developing this habit takes time because changing habits generally requires a long and consistent effort.

To build a reading habit, I started with 5 minutes a day and gradually increased it to 30 minutes. To get better results, it’s best to repeat the 5 minutes of reading over a forty-day period and then slowly increase the reading time.

I recommend starting with fiction books that don't require analysis, making it easier for the brain to accept this new habit. Remember, you don't need to read for 2 hours a day. Just dedicate 5 minutes to reading before bedtime each night.

After a few weeks, make every effort to stick to the 30-minute rule. If you adhere to this rule, you will have 900 minutes of effective reading. Imagine, if you use the enjoyable book trick, you will create 900 enjoyable minutes for yourself in a month.

3. Listen to Podcasts

I love sharing this topic with you. My best times are spent listening to podcasts because when I’m doing repetitive tasks, I simultaneously train my ears to listen to books and scientific content. During this time, I have both listened to a book and completed a repetitive task. I recommend the podcasts "Jafekri," "Rokh," and "B Plus."

If you are employed and travel long distances to work and back home daily, listen to podcasts. This time is a great opportunity for more reading and strengthening the reading habit. One of the benefits of listening to podcasts is the diversity of information and books. Through this method, you can find your preferred book style. In fact, a bank of content is available to you, providing free information and bringing your dead times to life.

When you are washing dishes (one of the daily repetitive tasks) or stuck in city traffic (a result of living in big cities), you usually don’t have many options. Although, in most cases, listening to music is our only idea to pass the time in these two situations or similar ones, try a podcast in the car once. It's an interesting experience. Believe me, listening to a podcast is something else.

Podcasts are produced and released at different times, and you can start listening to them depending on the dead time you have ahead. The second benefit of podcasts can be summarized in this phrase: podcasts help you make the most of times that would otherwise be useless.

4. Use a Pencil While Reading

Stationery is one of my indescribable pleasures in life, and having pencils with different designs is essential for starting new books and note-taking. If you have a pencil in hand while reading, you can underline important points or take small notes.

By using this trick, you’ll see that you enjoy reading the book more. Whenever a point seems important, put a checkmark (√) in the margin on the side where the point is. This way, the point is highlighted. This idea also helps a lot in transferring the book’s information to your long-term memory. Try to underline important points in the text while reading so that it’s easier to find them when summarizing.

5. Write a Small Report on the Book

I suggest that at the end of each chapter, jot down the notes you’ve taken with a pencil. You can later use these notes for summarizing.

The last time you did summarizing was probably in elementary school. However, writing a report on a book is an effective way to build a reading habit. Using important quotes or bullet points for writing a report is sufficient.

With summarizing, we can note a large amount of information in a much smaller space and use it for review and study.

One of the most famous and practical methods of summarizing that many people use is changing the tone of the text. It has often happened that we have read something multiple times and didn’t learn it; but when one of our friends or classmates explains it in their own words, we easily understand it. This can also happen in summarizing. You just need to change the tone of the text to a tone you find simpler and easier to understand.

In this article, I’ve shared some of my experiences with the best methods of reading books with you. I hope these experiences are useful to you.

Mehri Safari Oskouei

Copyright for publishing a book.