If you've gotten this message loud and clear, there are a couple of ways to proceed. One is to simply increase the number of books you get through (it's possible no matter how busy you are, here are tips). The other is to hold steady the rate you consume titles but to squeeze more value out of each one you read.
After all, deeply understanding, remembering, and putting to use one good book is worth much more than instantly forgetting five you sped through (which is what science says will happen if you try to speed read). So how can you make what you read stick? A recent post from Buffer offers a deep dive into the subject.
The lengthy post offers advice on reading faster as well as reading better, but among the best tips are three strategies to help you actually retain more from the books you get through. Here they are in brief.
"Be impressed with the text," advises the post. "Stop and picture a scene in your mind, even adding elements like greatness, shock, or a cameo from yourself to make the impression stronger."
Another strategy? "Read an important passage out loud. For some of us, our sensitivity to information can be greater with sounds rather than visuals."
Science shows you remember things more easily if you somehow connect them to knowledge you already have. So, for example, if your reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends & Influence People and want to remember a specific point, Buffer suggests you "think back to a time when you were part of a specific example involving the principle."
"The more you repeat, the more you remember," insists the post. No shock there. So try "literally re-reading a certain passage" or "highlighting it or writing it down then returning to it again later." Learning science can help you tune your study practice to make it more effective with less effort.