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Memory in reading

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Mr. P

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Memory in reading

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Am I alone? I have a hard time remembering what I read sometimes. It is ok while I am reading the book...even if I put the book down for a spell and then come back to it, but once I am done I cannot remember certain things about characters or plot even after a few days.How long do you all remember what you read? Are there any tricks to remembering? Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
tomiichi

Re: Memory in reading

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Well I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but I read in my psychology book that generally, people remember less than 50% of what they read. I think the time period on that was pretty quick too like within the same day. (That is ironically probably why I remembered how much you retain, but didn't remember the time period for that.) I was taught that to better remember what you are reading, to read it out loud so you hear and see it; this way your brain processes it in two places. Personnally, I don't like to read out loud though. Edited by: tomiichi at: 6/8/06 5:02 pm
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riverc0il
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Re: Memory in reading

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i don't have this particular problem. i tend to remember things very well from what i have read. if i loose my place, i can generally read one sentance of a paragraph and know if i have read that page or not. plot and characters tend to stick in my memory well if the author has done a good job. if i forget something, it usually comes right back after reading a page or two.
MadArchitect

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Re: Memory in reading

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It used to be a big problem for me. Despite being a compulsive reader, I grew up with some pretty bad habits. Here are some things that might help.Take breaks. There are natural resting points in most books -- either breaks within a chapter, or the chapter break itself. A lot of people will finish one chapter and dive straightways into the next, but I find that putting the book down and doing something else helps. It gives you time to review in your mind what you just read, to think over the implications of the preceding chapter, and so forth.Read slowly. I know that can be frustrating when you don't have a lot of time to read, but it's better than investing time in a book and then coming away with nothing. If I don't watch myself, I'll read so fast that I'm essentially scanning the book, and not really allowing 2/3rds of the words to register.Don't push out other thoughts. That's a zen trick. If, in the middle of a paragraph, you start to think about how you need to pick up toothpaste when you go shopping for groceries, stop reading and push that thought to the foreground. Write it down if that helps. If you let it sit in the background, chances are it'll stay there and distract you from what you're reading. By the same token, if you're thirsty get up and get water, and if you have to pee, do that. Those are things that will monopolize your thoughts, and it's better for your recall if you just get them out of the way.Keep a reading journal. I've talked this one to death, but it really helps. In particular, if something you've just read catches your attention or starts to make you think about it in more general terms, putting down your book long enough to write about it will allow you to work that thought out, so that it's not distracting you from other things being said in the book. If I don't do this, I'll often find myself following my thoughts down one trail why my eyes blindly scan the sentences I'm trying to read. Sometimes, just writing down the interesting thing is enough to clear my mind; sometimes, I have to follow the path it takes a little. Whatever it takes to let me get back to the point where my thoughts veered off on their own.Don't settle. There are lots of interesting books out there. If the one you're reading isn't keeping your interest, put it on a shelf and promise yourself that you'll give it a try later on. Your time is better spent reading whatever book is going to interest you most at the moment.
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Mr. P

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Re: Memory in reading

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tomiichi:Quote:(That is ironically probably why I remembered how much you retain, but didn't remember the time period for that.) There ya go!! rivercOil:Quote:i tend to remember things very well from what i have read. if i loose my place, i can generally read one sentance of a paragraph and know if i have read that page or not. plot and characters tend to stick in my memory well if the author has done a good job. if i forget something, it usually comes right back after reading a page or twoOh I am good at this too. While I am active in a book though. Once I am done and say a few days later someone happens to mention a subject where a book I have read pertains...sometimes I bumble through trying to offer the info from the book I am quoting. I will forget details and sometimes characters realting to the part...things like that.Mad:Quote:Take breaks.Yeah...I am bad at this. I usually cannot read until like 10-11 PM because the kids are up before then (I need quite to read), and I find myself trying to read as much as possible until about 12 - 1AM. Sometimes I find myself actually sleeping in the chair! It is then that I bookmark the previous chapter and go to bed. Quote:Read slowly.What is slow? I think I read slow, but maybe I dont. I guess I can read 30 pages in less than an hour or so at this time. My reading speed has increased, but I wanted that. Used to be I had to struggle through 20 pages in an hour.Quote:If you let it sit in the background, chances are it'll stay there and distract you from what you're reading.Then I would never read a page! Seriously...I have so many stresses and thoughts goin on in my mind I sometimes cannot stop thinking about things. I have found reading helps me separate from the ramblings of my brain, which is one reason I started reading, but sometimes they break through. You do have a point though...it can dominate the material. do keep a pad nearby where I write down thoughts and other things while reading.Quote:Keep a reading journal.I try that but I cannot seem to keep at it. I do keep the aforementioned pad handy, but not much note taking. I am trying to make an effort to do this, but I guess it will come in time. Things work better for me when I keep them in mind but do not push it. I just gotta reach that point.Quote:Don't settle. Yeah...I keep with some books when they are the booktalk picks...but with the "Time Traveler", I may have to put it down. It is not striking me as worth the time.My ultra high stress level probably does not help at all. I have to find a way to relax...Thanks all!Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Memory in reading

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Quote:Don't settle. There are lots of interesting books out there. If the one you're reading isn't keeping your interest, put it on a shelf and promise yourself that you'll give it a try later on. Your time is better spent reading whatever book is going to interest you most at the moment. Thanks, Mad. I need to be reminded of this. I do put books down, but I often feel I'm almost betraying it...What annoys me when I read SF/Fantasy are the names...I find I gloss over the names, and if the characters/places aren't vivid enough, I can't remember them.Yeah, I know. Slow down. "All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds." Loricat's Book NookCelebrating the Absurd
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riverc0il
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Re: Memory in reading

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Quote:Oh I am good at this too. While I am active in a book though. Once I am done and say a few days later someone happens to mention a subject where a book I have read pertains...sometimes I bumble through trying to offer the info from the book I am quoting. I will forget details and sometimes characters realting to the part...things like that.yea, after finishing a reading i often loose specifics in my memory but i remember the key characters and events. with a fiction reading, i really don't put much emphasis on memorizing things into memory. it is supposed to be a fun reading and i focus on simply enjoying myself and the story. much like a movie, after the book is over, i really don't care if i forget parts of the book. with non-fiction, i am to get the gist of the author's main points. here is where forgetfulness can become an issue. if you read a non-fiction book that makes interesting points and you forget them, then you have just wasted your time, imo. i read fiction for pleasure, i read non-fiction for information and knowledge.mad, great thoughts reading tips for reading. i use many of those and read slowly by default any ways, heh. when i start scanning pages, i put the book down and re-read the last page or two when i start reading again.
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Re: Memory in reading

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Loricat: Thanks, Mad. I need to be reminded of this. I do put books down, but I often feel I'm almost betraying it...I look at it two ways:1) Some books just suck. They aren't worth reading, and it's a shame that I got suckered into starting them, but there's no reason to keep going once I feel certain that I'm going to get nothing from it. (On the other hand, there are times when that's exactly what I want -- although, I don't read for escape as much as some people seem to.)2) If I think that a book is probably quite good, but that I'm not in the right state to appreciate it just then, I think that it's more loyal to the book itself to put it aside and come back to it when I can appreciate it. That's an idea that I picked up after high school when I realized that some of the books we had been forced to read were actually quite amazing, but that high school was altogether the wrong time to read them. And it isn't just the fact of having been too young -- I could be 75, reading a book by Tolstoy, and still not be in the right state to appreciate it. It's all about the fortuitous conjunction of the material of the book with the experiences in your life which render it meaningful.
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