5-step process to remember everything you read in a book:

  1. Reading on a Kindle

When I read a book, I highlight a lot.

Anything that catches my attention, intrigues me, fuels my curiosity.
Sometimes entire pages.

  1. Exporting the highlights 

What I love about this is that I do not feel the pressure to finish a book.
Whatever I read, however much, has takeaways in the form of these highlights. 

I will then export these highlights into a pdf and email it to me.
Kindle allows that.

  1. Sit with the highlights

I now have my own summary of the book. Not crowdsourced. Personalised.
After a week, I sit down with this pdf for 15 mins. And ask myself one question:
“How can I apply this to my current life?”

  1. Report progress after 30 days

After a month, I would sit again for 10 mins (doesn’t take longer) and see how, if at all, any of the new paths led to some revelations. 

Maybe I agree with them more.
Maybe I realised they don’t work for me. 

This check-in is critical.

  1. Create a re-read list 

Basis the impact and resonance I felt, I add a book to my re-read list, which means I will read it once every year.
These are phenomenal books (for me) where each time I pick them up I have figured something new that has helped me.

There is a twist though.
The re-read list at any point cannot be more than 12 books. 

So if I want to add to it and I already have 12 books, one book has to be dropped. This keeps me honest with the quality of this list.

This 5-step process has helped me assimilate most of the knowledge I can derive from books. 

It has also made me appreciate the power of books.
How, at the cost of a pizza, I get to download someone’s entire life and learnings!

I recognize this process seems too dependent on a Kindle. 

The Kindle just makes the job easier. But the process can very well be done with a physical book too.