The importance of Interactive Reading

It’s almost half way through the month of January already! Goodness, is time getting faster? Hmm, an interesting question to ponder, but not for today. Today, I’m well into reading my third book of the year, and as with the first two, there are aha moments to be had. Imagine my shock then, when someone asked me to recall the four major points of book two, and I was unable to think of them!

What? – didn’t see that coming! If she’d asked me the same question about four days earlier I’d have told her what they were. However, with my attention now firmly on book three, it seems the short-term memory had promptly forgotten the salient points of book two. Somehow that’s not the result I had in mind when I committed to reading 52 books this year.

So, to quote from my often-repeated reality statement, “Show me the lesson!”

Unless you are gifted with a photographic memory (which I am not), it’s unlikely that you will recall everything you expose your mind to. It was the same when you were in school and crammed at the last minute for an exam. The cramming might have got you through the exam, but a few days later the material was gone. I know this happens, and so do you, but somehow I failed to take it into account in approaching the reading of the first two books.

So what is the answer? The answer is “Interactive reading.” The simplest way to engage this concept when reading a book is to make notes. This can be done chapter by chapter as you read a book, or it can be deferred until the book is complete, in which case you can write yourself a short summary about what you got from the book, what you learned, and how it impacted you. I have chosen to take the latter approach, and have already been going back to the first two books to remind myself of the points that stood out for me.

Here’s the interesting thing, I actually incorporated this concept into This Book is the Perfect Gift.  Every one of the 182 vignettes has space below it to write out what you think about what you just read. This is one of the most powerful, practical elements of the book’s concept and design. If you read the book and choose not to write notes, you’ll gain value, but not as much as if you take time to interact with the material. It’s for this reason that I have not published an e-book version, and at this stage have no plans to do so.

So, whatever you are reading today, I encourage you to consider engaging “Interactive Reading.” It will make all the difference in the world to your retention of the material, and the value it brings to your life.

Love and Light…

Kenneth

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