It seems that most people can remember only a few high-level details of a book weeks later—if that. A typical reader might spend hours finishing some serious non-fiction—then maybe it comes up at a dinner party, and they find you can remember like three sentences. Basically no detailed recall. Barely the gist!
What’s more: people seem surprised when this happens. They seem to consistently overestimate how much they’re absorbing from a book.
Part of the problem here is People often struggle to remember details of prose text because they never processed them in the first place.
This observation is unfortunate for many reasons, but among them: Deep understanding requires detailed knowledge of fundamentals and Complex ideas may be hard to learn in part because their components overflow working memory.
For common objections: Many people view memory as unimportant to deep creative work.
Matuschak, A. (2019). Why books don’t work. Retrieved from https://andymatuschak.org/books