Improving your Reading Skills

Improving your Reading Skills

Maybe you’ve decided to start reading more and even more Islamic material, but how much of it sticks? Experts say we only retain 5% of what we read. The brain is only engaged for a short amount of time.

We start setting goals of 1 book a week, and once we meet it. We look back and do not remember what we’ve read.

A keen reader of articles on the HalalLife, shares his secrets with us

The secret

  1. Start by reading the title, blurb and contents. Get an idea of what the book is about and ask yourself what you want to achieve from reading the book. Then always read the preface or forward or intro. This gives a lot of background reading to the book and you will know what to expect.
  2. Start reading and at the end of every chapter, summarise on a sheet of what you read and maybe underline some points as you go along.
  3. By the end, you should have lots of little summarises. On a paper just write your thoughts on the book.. anything that comes out. Once compiled.. keep the notes in the book.
  4. Now it’s 2 months later.. visit the book.. again look at the title and blurb.. try to recall what it was about then read from your summary.
  5. At this point, you can add to the summary with more point that are sticking to you. And get down at least 3 ideas from the book, stuff you can use.
  6. Say its 1 year later and you’ve read 25 books, now access any of the books.. the book is on your shelf to be used at any time and then instead of thinking I’ve read that but can’t remember a thing, you can have a quick read of the summary.


Why not also try audiobooks, you can listen to them whilst studying or driving. The trick with Audio is to listen to the audio at least 5 times.. but space it out once a month. This way it’s fresh and it only works if you enjoyed the audio. As you listen over and over you will pick up new points and can jot down any you missed.

This works for me, regularly review the productivity of this and then modify.

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