As someone doing an English degree, I know how hard it is to read efficiently when you have 50,000 books and only a few weeks to read them (i’m exaggerating a little ofc). I also know that not everyone enjoys reading and I know how easy it is to leave reading to the last minute because ‘it’s only a short novel’. Well, here are some tips to make the most of your time and read efficiently, when you don’t really want to, don’t have the time to or would rather be doing something else.
1. DON’T RE-READ. I regularly see tips that say to get the most from a book, you need to read it at least twice. Ignore that. If you’re like me and have 3 books a week (minimum), you don’t really have the time or the patience to read them twice. Instead, read them once, but slowly. Take your time with the first read and actually understand it, instead of reading it once as quickly as you can and trying to find time to read it again in a futile attempt at actually understanding what you’ve read.
2. SET YOURSELF TARGETS. A key part of reading efficiently is actually reading the book. So set yourself daily targets of how many pages or chapters you need or want to complete. Set a target that is manageable and set them to cater to the events that occur in your day. Say if the book is due Friday and you start reading on Monday, but you have a lunch date with your friends on Wednesday and you really need to study for your biology exam which you care about more - set yourself reasonable targets to accommodate those things rather than pushing the reading aside completely because you’re ‘too busy’.
3. CHAPTER OVERVIEWS These are good for remembering details of the book when you are finished. After each chapter, spend a couple of minutes writing a chapter overview. Note down any important events, characters, themes and settings. Lined post-it notes are good for this, but you can always put them in a notebook too. I usually put the post-it notes on the last page of the chapter, so I can flick through the book after and know which chapter it is for, but again - do whatever feels best for you. If your book doesn’t have chapters or very few, maybe do overviews every 20-50 pages, depending on the length of the book. These are just to make your life easier and so you don’t have to remember every single chapter. You’ll have the overviews to refresh your memory.
4. HIGHLIGHTING AND TABS While you’re reading, highlight - or tab if you’re uncomfortable with or can’t highlight the book - in different colours the different things you need. Usually this is themes, characters, settings, literary devices etc, but also highlight or underline things that stand out to you. Even with highlighting, it’s good to tab the pages so you can find them again. If you aren’t comfortable with marking a book, you can do this in a notebook, but it might take a little longer writing out the quotes. Remember to make a key of these colours, because you will need remember what each colour is for.
5. DON’T GET COMFY It’s very easy to get comfortable when reading and not take in anything. You need to be on your game the whole time, no matter where you’re reading. Feel free to put on study or relaxing music, but don’t get comfy. Sit at your desk or on your bed with your back against the wall, so long as you tell your body that you’re studying and not just reading for pleasure. You don’t want to be reading and miss important things, not when you’re short of time. You can get comfy when you’ve finished!
6. DISCUSS You never truly realise how much you understand a book until you talk about it. When you’re finished reading, you’re not finished studying the book. Discuss the book with someone. Even if they haven’t read it themselves, talk to parents or friends. Tell them that you’ve been reading X and you found this, this and this interesting, but that one scene confused you. Discussing the book helps and sometimes people can help you grasp a clearer understanding of your text.
7. USE STUDY AIDS SparkNotes and Smoop are useful study aids and will be a life saver. Please don’t rely on them. Just using them instead of reading won’t work and your teacher will know. But they will help your understanding and will help you pick up bits you might’ve missed. They will also help with contextual information and they’re good for an overview when you’ve finished. Don’t use them before you’re done reading though. Trust me, it’s for the best.
8. RE-READ I don’t mean re-read the book. Re-read your notes the day before the book is due so you can fill in any blanks in your notes and understanding. Anything that is missing can be filled in during that day before the book is due and you’ll feel super accomplished on the day. You can compile your notes into one notebook and prettify them now, if that’s what makes you happy or helps you. Make them useful for your understanding is the key part, of course. But just reading through everything will put it fresh in your mind.
9. CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH You can choose to do this before or after reading, but don’t do it during. Contextual research is generally boring (at least for me) but it is super useful for understanding or just to sound clever in an essay. It can also fill in a lot of blanks and help you get knowledge of what is happening. Literature and history have a lot of connections and knowing the history of literature and of your novel is super useful. Always attempt some sort of contextual research, even if it’s just reading those little intro bits in the classics or whatever.
10. RELAX AND REWARD So you’ve finished reading, research and making notes? Relax! Reward yourself. Get a cup of tea, pat yourself on the back and get an early night. You deserve it! Reading can be exhausting and if you’re gonna remember anything in the morning, you need some good sleep and to feel good about yourself.
And with that - HAPPY READING!
I hope this was helpful for everyone and if you need any more advice, don’t be afraid to ask me, your teacher, your parents or even your friends!
Are you and Kelly friends? Or More? How'd you meet?
she’s my goddamn soul mate and i love her the most and how we met was she worked over in the US in 2014 at Disney World and we both ended up posting on this FB page and I commented on her pic and ended up adding her cause I think I saw that she worked at disney and was like oh ill add her and maybe we will meet up one day at a con or something idk but we got on to chatting and she told me shes on the ICP with disney and we talked about anime and she and I met up like a week later to start working on our Saint Young Men cosplay and she showed me the greatness of T&B and I showed her the greatness of The Hobbit! And our friendship grew from there, we’d hang out like 1-3 times a week since we lived really close, then I moved a bit farther away and we didn’t get to hang as much but ye, we spent basically 11 months together and then she had to fly back home and we watched the last hobbit and cried our eyes out and then i dropped her off at the airport right after the movie and she was crying and asked that I didn’t forget her and I was so sad and she was so sad cause omg i love her so much and she told me to come to AU and I’m like “haha yeah when i win the lottery” and never thought I’d ACTUALLY go cause, thats like a dream of mine. But I worked my ass off for it and bought my ticket to Gold coast and we went to cons as Fili and Kili <3333 and then Hobbiton and aaa then i came home and she and I did get to see each other till about two years later almost! Now we are back chillin again at SDCC <3 something we;ve always wanted to do, and even beter ewe get to do it together<3333
I used to be 13 kgs heavier.. So the key to weight loss in my opinion is to eat clean food, don't buy packaged food. Drink lots of water, but only water , not soda and things like that. And try to workout.. You can start from really light cardio 3 times a week,or you can go for a walk too . It gets better I promise , you just have to stick with it
WOW congrats hun!! Actually my goal for now is to lose 10kgs! how long did you do it?? thanks for the tips! i’ll def do it xx
what your favourite childhood magical girl show says about you
w.i.t.c.h.: you have either a mild dislike or a strong passionate hatred for winx club, and you’re probably not straight. if your favourite guardian was irma you’re 100% not straight
princess tutu: you’re a dancer, or you used to be a dancer, or you REALLY wish to be a dancer. if you were into cosplay you probably were one of those people who used actual pointe shoes for your princess tutu cosplay and ended up with fucked up feet because you’ve never danced ballet in your life especially en pointe
tokyo mew mew: you’re a furry and/or you really like fruit. something something warrior cats phase? and if you’re gay (which you probably are) it was zakuro who made you realize that
ojamajo doremi: people call you a social justice warrior like 3 times a week, you have great taste in tv shows. you’re an infp and you probably care too much about personality tests
winx club: you love fashion, especially of the 2000s. if you draw there’s a 78% chance you suck at anatomy. there is and always has been rivalry between you and people who love w.i.t.c.h. and others can never tell whether it’s playful or serious
sugar sugar rune: if your favourite character was chocola meilleure you’re chaotic good. if your favourite was vanilla mieux you’re either a liberal who has only read harry potter, or a leftist with social anxiety
sailor moon: you’re LGBT, you love fashion, you often wear cute nail polish, VERY into astrology! and you can’t fucking drive
mermaid melody pichi pichi pitch: you love musical theatre and you’re kind of too passionate about it and people around you hate you for it but won’t tell you. 50% chance you’re an air sign
cardcaptor sakura: you seem really kind and sweet but it’s hard to tell whether you’re genuine or not so a lot of people think you’re kind of fake but anyway you like fashion and your fashion taste is funky and eccentric but ultimately better than anyone who likes winx club
shugo chara: you probably developed a personality disorder sometime later in your life
Sorry I got this one late :3 decided to use my human au for this prompt so here have Peri as a beautiful Katsudon who can’t see shit rn and Laz as the sexy couch ‘cuz I’m also a Victuuri trash and wanted to draw lapidot with their matching outfits
Hurrah, I’ve finally done all the prompts, even though I was late for almost of them! XD It has been a blast, despite losing some sleep over this! It really did get me to think about different ideas and having to draw them out in such a limited time! :’D Cheers~