Remember More Of The Books You Read By Visiting Wikipedia First

Remember More Of The Books You Read By Visiting Wikipedia First

You can retain more of the knowledge you glean from books by prepping your brain with background information before reading. That makes Wikipedia a great tool for readers.

Picture: natasia.causse/Flickr

In a post about becoming a faster reader, entrepreneur Ryan Battles explains:

There is a relationship between background knowledge and reading comprehension. The more you understand about a particular subject, the more “hooks” keep the facts in there. So if you are going to read a book on a subject you don’t know much about, check out the Wikipedia article on it first to prep your brain to retain more.

This might work best with non-fiction books, although you could also prep your brain for remembering fiction too (especially long novels with tons of details like Game of Thrones).

Check out Battles’ post for many great tips on speed reading as well.

How to Become a Faster Reader [Ryan Battles]


  • I use wikipedia to read through plots on shows, books, movies that I’m interested in but really have no intention of investing more that a few minutes in.

  • How does reading an article online about a subject differ from reading a book about a subject? If you need to read a wiki article first to understand a book it either means its a bad book or the book required you to have some knowledge of the subject first.

    • No, it’s about increasing the amount of information that gets laid down into long term memory – if you spend 5 mins getting an overview of a topic using something like wiki, then read the book on the same topic, you’ll retain more of the information for longer.

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