I am an avid reader, but unless a book really hits me hard and changes my way of thinking (which only happens once every few years to be honest) I don't remember much of what I've read. This year, with my "To Read" list already incredibly long, I have decided to try a new approach to improve my reading memory! Here are a few tips I found that are meant to improve your literacy skills: 1. Don’t read in bed Often considered a great way to fall asleep, it's not really the best way to get any serious reading done. If you're like me, you're falling asleep mid-chapter and waking up without a single recollection of the last 20 pages. If you're really trying to get into the meat of a book, do so in an upright position. 2. Read alone Reading isn't a group activity, so do your best to set aside time to read alone, without distractions. This includes your phone and computer - turn those off for some quiet time! 3. Read in print if possible This isn't just a preference - several studies have suggested that reading in print leads to superior comprehension and retention compared to reading on a screen. When on a trip and you're trying to carry 10 books in one device, an e-reader is better than nothing, but try to do most of your reading in print (and then check out the next few steps!) 4. Underline Librarians and book purists, close your eyes. Yes, books are precious, but making the pages your own can actually help you remember, understand, and fall in love with a story. Underline (in pencil or pen) lovely phrases, confusing sentences, or particularly memorable passages. By physically marking them, you’re forcing yourself to linger over them, taking extra mental note of the words and possibly giving yourself more opportunity to ponder their meaning. 5. Take notes We're taking underlining one step further. While reading can just be a fun activity, ideally it is a collaborative work between author and reader. The author presenting words and the reader taking them and giving them meaning. This can only be done if you understand and dwell on some of the prose. Taking notes, either in the book, on Post-Its, or in a separate notebook, makes you engage with the book and helps you get more out of the pages. 6. Reread for clarity How many chapters have you started just to realise that you don't remember the past few pages? Rereading a few pages will slow down your reading process but will help you remember much more of the story in the long run. 7. Read aloud, or mouth along Probably not the best idea to use this tip on public transportation (return to tip 2 - reading ALONE) but a recent study suggests that reading aloud or at least mouthing along increases focus and concentration, perhaps because the physical engagement with the text!