How To Make The Most Of Your Reading Time

Making out time to read a book is one thing, but getting the most out of it is another thing. A lot of people tend to apportion a particular time to read, but they end up reaching the book’s surface and never really getting into the treasure that is hidden below it.  How do you know that you get the most out of a book? You get the most out of a book when it significantly improves your life to the highest possible extent. Because of that, an important goal of reading books is getting actionable ideas. To get the most out of the books, you should then put those actionable ideas into action.
Below are some strategic steps you can apply to get the most out of your reading time:
Identify your purpose
To make the most of your reading, it is essential (and fun) to focus on your goals and targets. If you don't know where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else. Focusing on your targets will be useful in maintaining motivation. Your objective will inform your reading decisions, so you don’t read mindlessly, which can be tempting. Your reading performance will correlate with your motivation. It is common knowledge that your motivation has a direct bearing on your reading performance. If you don't generate the huge motivation, drive, and desire to achieve your goals, it will be a tough journey. So you must be clear on why you must push through to make your reading a success
Engage with what you read.
Engaging with your reading materials will help you become an active learner and keep your attention focused on the information in the text. Also by writing additional information or questions on the page can help you during review.  This can be done by linking points, pulling out key snippets of information, etc. in your own words. By so doing, you’ll be forced to think about the ideas that are presented in the text and how you can explain them coherently.  The process of engaging with what you read also helps you retain, analyze and ultimately remember and learn what you’ve read.
Don’t speed read.
The problem with speed-reading is that it’s just another way of saying “skimming.” You can flash as many words as you like in front of your eyes, and though you may be able to understand each word on its own, they won’t benefit you much if you slow down and read in details. People tend to speed read because they often think everyone else reads faster than they do, and that it would be a huge advantage if they could.  Notwithstanding the aesthetic pleasure derived from reading, there is no way one will appreciate the nuances of character and circumstance in a book if one is reading ten pages per minutes. To make the most of your reading, it should be seen as a pleasure where time is forgotten, if only for a moment.
Pick the right format
Choosing the right book format (ebook, audiobooks, and print books) is an essential step on the road to making the most of your reading. Your intentions and engagement with your reading will determine how valuable your reading ultimately is. When it comes to format, each of these format types’ offers unique features and advantages, so before you start reading any book, you'll need to decide which format works best for you. Choose the one that you feel serves your objectives and will also present and enjoyable reading experience.
Record and revisit
When you’re reading any book, it is important to cultivate the habit of taking notes and the source. This should be carefully organized and in turn create a conversation with your reading.  This will help you later when you need to revisit what you’ve already read. This can be done effectively through paraphrasing and summarizing. So it’s important to leave as many cues as possible. Whichever tool you use, your goal is to rediscover your favorite passages later.

Process and Analyze
Unless the content of what you read is linked to your survival or you’ve a photographic memory, chances are that you’ll forget what you’ve seen or read soon after viewing it. Having a deliberate strategy while reading, remains a sensible approach. So it’s crucial you remind yourselves of what you took away with our process. The more you actively engage with what you’re reading, the more readily you’ll remember it. As your neurons revisit the same subject over and over, it’s easier for them to make new connections.
Apply what you read.
Reading books is one thing, but applying what you’ve read is another thing. Many people just read a book without ever applying it. But as you know, you can never get the full benefit from a book if you just read it without putting it into practice. Why do I believe that applying what you’ve read works? Because, for really important ideas, the key to successful reading is repetition. Without repetition, it’s far too easy for those ideas to be lost in our mental attic.
If you follow everything we’ve talked about so far, then you’ll be learning more from what you read. The more important a book is, the more steps you should use. ‘Important’ books are those who have bigger potential of changing your life.


  • I never give myself enough reading time. I really need to work on this and your tips are great!

    Mandy Robinson
  • You make such a good point about speed-reading. I tend to do it a lot instead of really getting invested in what I’m reading. Your idea to use target goals to help me know what I want to get out of a book is such a great idea.

  • I love to read, and speed-reading is something you should only be practicing if you’re in school with a lot of books to read, or you have a short time! I’m not terribly fond of taking notes on books you read for pleasure unless you just have a really hard time remembering details. I don’t like taking time to take notes on my “fun” books because it breaks me out of the story!

  • I dig the idea of engaging with your reading Elsa. Rocking tips.

    Ryan Biddulph
  • “To make the most of your reading, it should be seen as a pleasure where time is forgotten, if only for a moment.”

    Nice! Where one reads should be pleasurable too. I like the photo …appears to be milkweed. Read where milkweed & monarchs mingle:-)


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published