During my teenage, I think I read an insane number of books that were not listed as textbooks. If I had allotted a slim % of that reading time for the textbooks, I think I would become a better student, but that’s a different story.
The story I want to tell here is that, the books that once made me cry, taught me what to seek in life, fast-forward the timeline now I can barely remember anything about them! It’s not a realistic expectation to remember everything I read (especially in this age of information overflow). However, I had not even taken any conscious attempt to preserve at least the summaries of those books in my memory. If I had, I could have made better yields from those books in my life. After all, reading a book is time-wise quite a commitment.
So, a couple of years ago, I created a folder in my Google Drive named “Books I read”. Since then, after turning the last page of each book I read, I have been noting down the quotes, facts or my thoughts on that book and save them in Google Drive. Sometimes, I just google summary of the book that I just have finished, and copy-pasted that summary into a new document in my Google Drive’s folder.
The result has been amazing! Now at a glance, I can see the books I read in the past and make a quick mental revision. If it feels the summary of any of those book has started to fade away from my memory, I just give my notes on that book a quick read, and the things fall into places again.
To close this note, here is a quite from poet Siegfried Sassoon on forgetting what we have read –
“For it is humanly certain that most of us remember very little of what we have read. To open almost any book a second time is to be reminded that we had forgotten well-nigh everything that the writer told us. Parting from the narrator and his narrative, we retain only a fading impression; and he, as it were, takes the book away from us and tucks it under his arm. ”