Learning Something New Through Reading

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re trying to learn something new, you may be reading up on the topic.
  • However, just because you read something, doesn’t mean you absorb the material.
  • There are techniques to help you learn more effectively through reading.

When we learn new things, we may do so through observation, experience, and lectures, but reading oftentimes plays a large part in how we learn. Of course, just because we read something doesn’t mean we’re absorbing the material nor actually learning anything.

There was a recent article that examines techniques that can help you more effectively learn from what you’re reading. We’ll look at four ways here.

1.) Take a lot of notes. When you read, you’re activating certain parts of your brain – your visual cortex and executive functioning areas. But when you write, you’re connecting different parts of your brain through your writing thumb. Writing helps your brain make more connections. This is something that’s actually been studied and proven.

2.) Mark up the book. Whether you use a highlighter, sticky notes, underline key points, or dog ear the book, by marking it up, you’ll help to make key thoughts stick. This will also help you when you need to return to the book and reference important concepts.

3.) Stay focused while you’re reading. Turn off your phone or other devices. Go to a quiet room in your house. By removing distractions, you can really focus on your reading material and nothing else. Reading on airplanes or while commuting on trains can also be effective if there’s no one to disturb you.

4.) Make mental links. As you read, think of ways the material you’re reading connects to other things in your life and to your existing knowledge. These connections will help with memory and can also help reveal where you may need to fill in some gaps on what you’ve learned.

So, if you’re learning something new, try these four techniques. You’ll find them to be effective in helping you to retain more of what you’re reading. Until next time, enjoy.


If you’d like to read more on this topic, here are a few of our past Coyle Blog posts that you might enjoy:

3 Ways to Gain More Wisdom from Books

The Need to Read




Gary Klaben serves as a Financial Advisor, and visionary for Coyle Financial Counsel. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Learn more about The Coyle Process, approach designed to get your arms around the big picture, so you can make informed financial decisions. Ask Gary about The Coyle Process and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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