Reading Non-Fiction?

Forget the old school method and use Thematic Learning Approach

Aniket Shashikant Saraf
4 min readOct 20, 2022


A girl standing in front of a personal library and reading a book
Photo by Karen Zhao on Unsplash

Non-fiction books are great reads. They teach the practicalities of the world in no time. I often read them to stay updated with worldly affairs. I’ve read over 20 books and will never stop reading 500 more.

But last year, I found a glitch in my neural neural system.

My friend asked me — ‘Aniket, have you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?’, and I said yes!

Then he asked, ‘Can you share the book in brief?’ And, I was like — Err…I don’t remember much.

I cannot fake I know things and appear smartass to my friend. I cannot cheat myself pretending I am wise because I have read a lot.

That day I realized I am a sucker. I’ve forgotten what I read.

I was leaking knowledge — Fatal System Error!

You might be reading the best books. But if you cannot remember what you read, you will not be able to apply what you learned. Then for what the heck did you read that book?

There is no point in reading non-fiction if you cannot get the returns (ROI) from your reading.

How I solved this problem?

I took an entire 1-month course on Learning How To Learn, where I discovered a better way to retain knowledge. I realized there is no point in reading 50 books per year when I cannot apply even one.

Then I created a system to help me read and remember better. I also went on a step ahead and came up with criteria to decide how much to read.

After lots of trial and error, I came up with the concept I call — The Thematic Approach to Learning.

Here, you choose a subject you want to improve. Then you study comprehensively. You not read one or two articles but aim to become an expert in that field.

You become a serious learner.

You don’t just pick up and read a random book but,

1) Find the best approach to learning.

2) Study the subject like your life depends on it.

3) Self-assess your competence through practical application.



Aniket Shashikant Saraf

Writer in Tech, Startups, Entrepreneurship, & Personal Development. Ghostwriter for Tech Entrepreneurs.