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Best Way to Learn From Audiobooks

I would like to brainstorm on how to get the most out of audiobooks.


Currently, I listen to audiobooks on 2x speed.
I have no idea how Lucio goes up to 4x speed on audiobooks.
That seems like a crazy rate of comprehension to me.

But, as Lucio says, learning is not a competition from his review on Audible.


I use the Android app called "Listen Audiobook" which makes bookmarking at different times easy like Audipo.
I take short, descriptive notes at different points of the audiobook, which I may return if I need a refresher.
And these bookmarks act as a refresher and summary when viewed all at once in the bookmarks menu.

How to Get Even More Out of Audiobooks?

I'm thinking that there are a few ways to get even more out of audiobooks.
Keep a notetaker while listening to audiobooks whether physical or digital
Whenever you listen to a segment or find very interesting examples.
Summarise the concepts in that segment and record relevant examples.


I have a few ideas but not tried them out yet.
Learning from Audiobooks probably overlaps a lot of learning strategies in general.

Plan How to Apply These Concepts in Day-To-Day Life

Nothing cements and internalises a concept by practising it in specific situations in actual situations.
We are talking about power dynamics books, productivity books, learning books, etc.

Group a few concepts together, and think about which area of your life you can apply them most to.
Then execute some techniques under these concepts.
Reflect on how these techniques have played out in your experience.

Research Further on These Concepts and Techniques

Cross-reference from other sources

  1. Online references like articles and papers
  2. Other books
  3. Friend's opinions and people on this forum

Look Back on Your Life Where You Could Have Applied These Concepts to Improve Outcomes

Think back through your life where these concepts could have helped you maximise the chances of obtaining your desired outcomes.
Then apply these concepts by writing down how you would execute them through techniques in these situations.

Reflect on Your Own Biases and the Author's Biases

Reflect on your own biases and the author's biases by uncovering the assumptions of these concepts in the book.
Think about when these concepts will not apply well in certain situations

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Great post, Matthew:

Look Back on Your Life Where You Could Have Applied These Concepts to Improve Outcomes

I love this one.
It squeezes even more juice out of personal experience by re-using past experience.

Research Further on These Concepts and Techniques

Yes, I like the idea of "clustering", such as to read similar books in clusters, rather than switching to and from different topics.

Currently, I listen to audiobooks on 2x speed.
I have no idea how Lucio goes up to 4x speed on audiobooks.

Did I say 4x somewhere?
I think it depends a lot on a few things, including how fast or slow is the normal rate, how well the reader enunciates the words, and how easy/difficult is the material.

When I'm listening a first time, I usually go slower.
On repeat listening, you can then speed up.
And I go fastest when I am reviewing/summarizing the book, since all I need is a refresher of the concept: even just a few keywords will do and then I can paraphrase the concept.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Did I say 4x somewhere?

The Audible app, contrary to some other audiobook apps on the market, also allows you to go beyond 2x.
Trust me, as you get better you will really want an app that lets you go faster than 2x.

My bad, somehow I remembered going faster than 2x as 4x.
Seems like my memory is not that accurate after all.

Thanks for the feedback on the other areas on getting the most out of audiobooks!

Other Threads on Reading Books & Cross-Checking Information Critically

Effective Reading: Absorbing Information Quickly & Efficiently

Reading Skills & How to Read Efficiently
Should You Read the Research Papers in Power University?
How Do I Take Your Approach to Reading Books?

Logistics of Reading Books

Mark Manson: How to be a Better Reader?
How to Maximise the Most Out of the Books You Read, Recommendations for ePUB Software for Computer?

Learning Effectively in General & Reaching Mastery

Ratings taken from Reviews tab

How to Learn: The Three Pillars of Mastery

Peak: 8 Steps to Become the Best (Anders Ericsson) (10/10)
The Talent Code (9/10)
Mastery: How to Become Great (Robert Greene) (8/10)
Ultralearning: 9 Steps to Mastery (Scott Young) (8/10)
Outliers (6/10)

Using What You Learn to Apply & Deliver Results

The War of Art (10/10)
Linchpin (8/10) - Similar to the War of Art
So Good They Can't Ignore You (9/10)

Mindsets That Help in Learning

Mindset (10/10)
The Obstacle is the Way (9/10)
Drive (9/10)
Relentless (9/10)
Grit by Angela Duckworth (7/10)

Critical Thinking

Ctrl+F 8.2. Critical Thinking Book Reviews under Reviews

Habits Are Essential in Learning

The Power of Habit
Atomic Habits

Flow State & Focused Work

Deep Work

Read some of these books.
Planning to re-read & read these books to understand how to assimilate and filter new information from books.

Compiled upon waking up in the middle of the night and had insomnia.
So let me know if there are any issues.

LorenzoE has reacted to this post.