Do you have a re-reading list?

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I read an article the other day I’d read a few months ago. It was as if I was reading it for the first time. I saw things I could have sworn weren’t there the first time I read that article.

That’s why it’s important to re-read good articles and books and reports, re-watch videos, and re-listen to audios.

If you got something out of it the first time, read it again. Highlight your highlights. Take notes on your notes. You learn more and remember more when you do that.

Isn’t that what we did to prepare for exams in school?

If the subject is really important to you, re-read it several times. You’ll get something out of it each time.

But don’t this immediately. Wait a few days or a few weeks or even longer, before you go through the material again. “Spaced repetition” is a key to learning and remembering.

Why? Because as time passes between reads, you forget what you read and what you thought about what you read. On your next read, you notice ideas you didn’t notice before, because you are a different person now than you were when you first read the material.

How so?

With the first read, everything was new to you. On subsequent reads, you’ve had time to use the information, or think about it, or to read other ideas on the subject, all of which provide you with context you didn’t have the first or tenth time you read the material.

Clearly, many things we read or watch aren’t worth a second glance. More than a few aren’t even worth finishing. When you find something exceptional, however, something that opens your eyes to new ideas or new ways to use old ideas, put it on your re-reading list and read it again.

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