When I was a kid,
one of my favorite shows on Nickelodeon was
And when I watched that show,
one of the inventions that stuck out to me the most was book gum.
These were little sticks of gum
that each contained the entire text of a specific book.
And as Jimmy put it, when you chew it, you know it.
正如吉米所说 当你咀嚼它 你就会知道书上的内容
And ever since I saw that episode,
I’ve always wished that invention actually existed.
How cool would it be to be able to juest chew
a stick of gum and know
text of Moby Dick or your math textbook?
But of course book gum does not exist sadly,
so what I wanna do today is
talk about what you can do
to remember what you read better.
Because you can read more books, you can read them faster,
but if you are not intaking the information
and you’re not able to recall it
and apply it later on,
then what are you really reading for in the first place?
and as I see there are two different categories of books that we need to cover.
First there are books full of facts and concepts
that you need to simply know.
Things like the mere exposure effect
from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow
or the definition of a caravel,
which you can learn in Daniel Boorstin’s history text,
The information contained in books like these is of a more academic nature .
It’s less applicable to your life, you can’t use it so easily.
But you still may need to know it,
be it for a test down the road
or simply because you want to.
So first we are going to quickly cover five specific techniques
that you can use to more effectively remember
the information from basically any book that you’re reading.
But these are gonna be especially useful
for these more academic types of books.
After that though, we are going to talk about
the second category of books.
These are the more actionable practical books,
things like Music Theory or The Science of Cooking.
These kind of books are actually trying to teach you
something that you will use and
as you may imagine, the most effective way
to remember the information in these types of books
is a little bit different.
But first let’s talk about those five general reading techniques
and the first one is called pre-reading.
So to effectively pre-read before you dig into the actual chapter,
first go over the book’s table of contents,
skim the chapter, look at the chapter subheadings,
maybe some bullet lists, and then go to the back of the chapter.
If there’s a summary or review questions, review those as well.
Doing this before reading has the effect
of priming your brain to more readily pick out the most important information
when you’re actually going through the text.
And if you want a really great example
of how priming can affect your brain,
just briefly close your eyes and think about a specific color.
And do that for a couple of seconds.
Then once you open your eyes again,
you’re gon na start noticing that color everywhere in your environment.
You’ve primed your brain.
And pre-reading does the exact same thing for words on a printed page.
Secondly,highlighting can be very effective. but only if you do it right.
第二 划重点也非常管用 但你得正确地划重点
See, a lot of people have the tendency
of highlighting way too much when they read
or going through the text and highlighting immediately
instead of trying to read and understand the text first.
So as Walter Pauk points out in his book
How To Study In College,
read the text before you start marking it.
This has the dual effect of making sure that you’re focusing
all of your attention on actually understanding what you’re reading
instead of looking for sections to highlight,
but it also prevents you from highlighting too much.
And this is important because the more that you highlight,
the less useful those highlights are.
I mean, imagine if you highlighted every single piece
of text in a book,
You would have essentially just changed the background color
of the paper and gained nothing.
Anyway, other than that one little word of warning about highlighting,
I do have one additional tip which is that
it’s good to know if you are doing your highlighting on a Kindle
or on a digital platform of some sort,
usually your highlights go to a specific area of the app.
For example in the Kindle app,
you can bring up all of your highlights
for a specific book in one convenient place.
Tip number three, take notes after you read.
And notice that I said after you read.
Now you don’t have to wait specifically until
you end an entire chapter, but I think
it’s good to at least read a section,
try to get into it, and then go over it again
and take notes on the most important details.
Now you might be asking what are the most important details?
How do I know what I’m supposed to take notes on?
And hopefully your pre-reading will give you a little bit of illumination in this area
because you’re gonna start picking out what’s most important.
But in general, some good things to look out for include key terms which are often bolded or
main points, and also examples and stories that highlight those main points
And these can often be summarized.
You don’t have to take notes on them in too much detail.
Now again the length and the specific format of your notes
is gonna be completely up to you
and you’re gonna get better at it over time.
But if you want some examples, I can provide a few,
including my own notes on Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit
which I published on my personal website
and I’ll have a link in the description down below.
That brings us to a very related tip,
which is to summarize what you read after you’re done reading it.
And with summaries in particular,
I think it’s good to finish an entire chapter
and then go back, try to pick up the main points,
maybe look at your notes, and then write a summary. Again,
也可参照笔记 之后再写总结 再强调一遍
you don’t want this thing to be too long, you just want it to be
a very distilled version of what you read
that contains the most important and salient points.
Finally, seek out secondary sources of information
that can complement what you’re reading.
This has the dual benefit
of building additional neural connections to the material
that you’re forging through the book
but it also keeps your level of interest high
or could potentially boost it for topics that you’re not super interested in.
Because a lot of times,
staring at a piece of dead tree on your desk
isn’t the most interesting way to learn about a topic, right?
And make no mistake about it,
interest is the most important ingredient
to effective learning and long-term recall.
As the author Frances Lockwood put it over 100 years ago,
“In the long run the secret of study resides in
our ability to bathe our thought, our task,
“our lesson in the stream of interest.”
So if you can and you have time to do it,
find other sources of information
that can boost the level of interest you have in the topic.
Now this could be other books
but it could also be a podcast episode
or a museum tour
or maybe even a video game.
The reason that I still remember what a caravel is
because I was actually using them in Civilization V
as I read about them in The Discoverers.
Just want to pause for a second to point out
that I played over a hundred turns
of Civ V last night to get B-roll
for the stupid caravel section and it turns out the Portuguese civilization
doesn’t even get caravels because they get a better unit automatically.
(sighs) But you get the point.
Alright, with my future self’s editing complaints out of the way,
it is now time to move on to that more practical category of books,
books that are actually trying to teach you something
that you will use in the future.
So as you probably could have guessed,
the most effective way to recall the information
in these kinds of books is to mix reading with doing.
Mix the academic study with practical application. I mean, that’s kind of the point of these kinds of books anyway, right?
把学术研究应用到实际操作中 我的意思是 这才是这些书的重点 不是吗
Now what I want to do with this section of
the video is just give you a few practical examples
of how I’m putting this concept into action.
And let’s start with Brian Boone’s book on music theory.
先从 Brian Boone的 《音乐理论》说起
One thing you learn about early on in this book is the interval patterns
that define different types of scales.
For example there’s a specific interval pattern for minor scales and
that differs from the one for major scales.
Now I could have just read about this.
After all, it is a music theory after all
and the interval patterns aren’t too difficult to grasp and understand.
But to understand them better, after I read about them,
I went and wrote an interval pattern down on
a piece of paper at my piano and then
I spent some time picking random notes
and building scales from those notes using the interval pattern.
[ piano music ]
Doing this helped me to build a more concrete understanding
of how these patterns worked.
It was more solid than if I had just read and tried to memorize them.
And to further solidify that mindset,
I also spent some time improving within the scales that I had built.
Now regardless of what you think of this piece, it’s obviously more fun to play than just going up and down scales.
And again this goes back to that quote about interest.
If you can bind what you’re learning to something that you’re more interested in
like playing fun music, you’re gon na understand it
and remember and recall it a lot more effectively.
For another example, let’s talk about The Code Book by Simon Singh.
This book traces the entire history of cryptography,
starting from very simple Caesar ciphers and scytales,
going all the way up to theoretical quantum cryptography.
Now while remembering the historical details in this book
would mostly entail using the techniques we’ve already talked about,
the actual methods of cryptanalysis,
like frequency analysis, are much better understood through practice.
And wouldn’t you know it, in the back of The Code Book,
there is an entire code-breaking challenge.
So while I was reading The Code Book,
I also spent some time trying to work through those problems.
And interestingly as I worked through them
and gained more practical experience in cryptanalysis,
my interest level rose and I was able to remember the details more.
Like that’s the only reason I can remember what a scytale is.
Fun little side note,
that knowledge of what a scytale was actually helped me
to beat an escape room recently.
So if you want to get better at beating escape rooms,
you may want to read The Code Book. Alright,
so we have covered a lot of information
in this video but I do want to leave you with one final tip.
After you’re finished reading a chapter or a section,
go for a walk, take a break, hit the gym.
散散步 休息休息 或是去健身房
Take a little bit of time to refrain
from intaking more information because in this modern world,
we have access to so much of it.
There are so many different sources and if we’re not careful,
we can find ourselves spending literally all
of our waking hours intaking information.
But if you want to be able to use that information,
if you be able to recall it,
you can’t constantly be intaking new things.
You have to give what you’ve already read,
what you’ve already taken in, time to kind
of marinate, time to set itself up
and actually integrate itself into your existing banks of knowledge.
So use these techniques to start learning more effectively
but at the same time always keep in mind the words of the great Gabe Newell.
– These things, they take time.
– Now earlier in the video,
we talked about how exploring topics in different mediums
can help you to more effectively remember what you’ve read.
And a very easy way to do that
is to go out and find a documentary
on the same topic you’re reading about.
CuriosityStream has over 2,400 documentaries
from some of the world’s best filmmakers, covering science, technology,
出自全球杰出的制片人 涵盖科学 技术
history, and more.
So whether you’re reading
about the history of the Apollo space program or the reign of Louie XIV,
you’ll be able to find something there
that can further expand your knowledge and interest.
And if you’re looking for a place to start,
I’m gon na recommend the Deep Ocean series, which is narrated
by the always excellent David Attenborough.
Or you can dig into original series featuring Stephen Hawking,
或者可以深挖以史蒂芬·霍金 西格妮·韦佛 德里克·穆勒
and Derek Muller, and you can do it from anywhere.
I still find CuriosityStream on Roku, smart TVs, iOS,
我在Roku 智能电视 iOS
Android, Chromecast, and of course on the web.
安卓 Chromecast 还有网络上都能找到CuriosityStream
You can get unlimited access to everything on CuriosityStream
for just $ 2.99 per month.
And if you’d like to try it out for free first,
you can go over to curiositystream.com/thomas
and use the promo code Thomas
at checkout to get a completely free 31 day trial.
Huge thanks goes out to CuriosityStream as always
for sponsoring this video and also supporting my
channel and thank you guys so much for watching as well.
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Thanks so much for watching
and I will see you in the next one (mouth pops).
When I was a kid,