We read. We absorb. We forget.
It often happens that we read several books about diverse topics, but as time goes by, this knowledge slowly fades away. While we ponder upon the details, some bits go missing from the puzzle. This raises the question of how do we retain the learnings? Here are three R’s why I believe writing a brief book review would help oneself:
The book may have hundreds of pages, and since it's impossible to remember all of it, it would be worth to note down the key lessons and quotes from the book.
One good way is to highlight some sections or segments on the go. If you are reading on a digital platform, this is one easy task. But if you are reading a physical book, and dread to spoil the book itself by underlining or scribbling — like myself — then using sticky notes or page markers could help.
While these are all good solutions, I find it difficult to go back to these notes in individual books. Writing a short review and having the most important sections of the story at one place can help is easier access. Further, for most people, writing down a piece of information themselves helps in better retention.
Once the reviews are in place, they can be used time and again to support and reiterate your views on a subject through richer expression. With time, it would help one to recall relevant references, making it a habit. It would not only make the point clear but also makes you sound smarter.
“This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.” ― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit.
Writing down your own reviews would help you in improving articulation skills. You can talk about the book’s content and additionally present your own thoughts in a succinct manner. Your perspectives and takes on the domain or topic would make this documentation personal and help form your opinions in the longer run. The documentation opens up a two-way street where, while consuming one also add to it.
Lastly, it might help other people read and share the same knowledge and benefit from your learnings. While this is written in the context of books, it can be equally true for other reading materials, podcasts, movies and blogs — anything that you learn from. Alongside, the documentation itself can be written or audio as per personal preference.
Voila! Happy Reading! 😄