I’ve really been loving audiobooks lately. I wrote about it in the post Paperbacks vs. Audiobooks.
They allow me to “read” more books, as I can listen to audiobooks while working or driving. It’s definitely a game-changer.
But one issue is that it can be difficult to retain information from audiobooks. Moreover, you can’t go back over an audiobook when you’re finished like you can a paperback. With a paperback book, you can pick the book up off your shelf and scan through the pages to find the quote or passage you were looking for. You can’t do that with audiobooks.
So how can we retain information from audiobooks?
Fortunately, I have a few ideas for you:
1.) Press Pause and Write it Down
If you’re sitting at your desk and listening to an audiobook, you can and should hit pause when something interesting comes through your headphones.
Rewind what you just heard 30 seconds and stop what you’re doing. Listen closely to the content and then jot down a quote or a thought that came to mind. I prefer to do this in Evernote, where I can keep track of many notes and quotes.
Doing this in a car is problematic. I don’t recommend pulling over to the side of the road when driving, just to write a note down. Keep track of it as best you can and come back to it later.
2.) Write a Review or Create a Summary
Writing these reviews is really helpful for me to further digest what I’ve just listened to. I can flesh out ideas and curate my favorite quotes. I recommend you do that too.
This doesn’t mean making a blog just to write reviews. Instead, you can just post them to GoodReads or a forum. You are of course welcome to guest post here!
If you want to put in less effort, then don’t write a full, formal review. Instead just jot down some notes in Evernote. You’ll be able to refer back to them in the future, and jotting them down after you finish the audiobook is good for retaining information.
3.) Read Other Reviews and Commentary
You should take some time to read other reviews or commentary of the book you just finished. Oftentimes major news outlets like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal will have a review of books. Goodreads and Amazon reviews are good too.
What this does is provide a quick summary of what you just read. It will pique your memory for points in the book that resonated with you. When you disagree with something this reviewer wrote, your argument will immediately spring to mind and you can pick apart their comments, which will further your retention of the audiobook.
If you’re going to spend time listening to audiobooks, don’t let the information go in one ear and out the other. Take some time to apply these three steps after wrapping up a book and those few hours you spent listening to the book will last much longer!
P.S. Interested in listening to a new audiobook every month?
Then check out Audible on Amazon. Click here to get the first month free!
image via bookriot