The Power of Boredom and Active Reading: Unleashing Creativity and Retaining Knowledge

Esteban Tala

Esteban Tala

May 16, 20243 min read


The Power of Boredom and Active Reading: Unleashing Creativity and Retaining Knowledge


In this digital age, where entertainment and information are at our fingertips, it may seem counterintuitive to suggest that children should be bored during the summer. However, psychologists and experts have highlighted the importance of boredom in fostering creativity and self-reliance in children. Similarly, when it comes to reading and retaining knowledge, actively engaging with the text and creating context around our highlights can help prevent "Highlight Dementia" and enhance our learning experience. Let's explore how these seemingly unrelated concepts intertwine and provide actionable advice for both parents and avid readers.

The Power of Boredom:

Psychologist Fry suggests that parents should sit down with their children at the beginning of summer and create a list of activities they might enjoy. This list could range from simple activities like reading a book or playing cards to more elaborate ideas such as cooking a fancy dinner or practicing photography. By doing so, parents encourage their children to explore their interests and find ways to entertain themselves. The key here is to resist the urge to constantly fill up their spare time, allowing them to experience boredom. Boredom, contrary to popular belief, can be a catalyst for creativity and self-motivation. When children are bored, they are more likely to tap into their imagination, seek out new experiences, and find ways to occupy themselves. It is through boredom that children learn to rely on themselves, developing problem-solving skills and nurturing their creativity.

Active Reading and Preventing Highlight Dementia:

Highlight Dementia refers to the phenomenon where we forget the meaning and context behind our highlights as time goes on. To combat this, it is crucial to read actively and create context around our highlights. When reading, take the time to reflect on the meaning of a highlighted sentence and make connections to your existing knowledge. By doing so, you create a mental framework that allows you to retain and recall the information more effectively.

Furthermore, transferring your notes and highlights to a permanent note storage system is essential. Whether you choose to do this immediately after reading or set a reminder for later, the act of organizing and revisiting your highlights reinforces your understanding and prevents them from fading into oblivion. One effective strategy is to accompany each highlight with a brief note explaining why you found it important or interesting. This can include thoughts on what the highlight made you think of, any confusion you may have had, or even someone you know who might find it relevant. By creating this additional context, you not only solidify your understanding but also make it easier to revisit and apply your acquired knowledge in the future.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace boredom: Encourage your children to create a list of activities they enjoy, but also allow them time to experience boredom. By doing so, you foster their creativity and self-reliance, enabling them to find their own sources of entertainment and motivation.
  • 2. Engage actively with reading: When reading, take the time to create context around your highlights. Reflect on their meaning, make connections to your existing knowledge, and consider the implications. This active engagement enhances your understanding and retention of the material.
  • 3. Organize and revisit your highlights: Transfer your notes and highlights to a permanent storage system. Accompany each highlight with a brief note explaining its significance, allowing you to reconstruct the meaning and context as time goes on. Regularly revisit and reflect on your highlights to reinforce your understanding and apply your acquired knowledge.


Boredom and active reading may seem like unrelated concepts, but they both hold immense value in fostering creativity, self-reliance, and knowledge retention. By embracing boredom, parents empower their children to discover their own interests and develop vital life skills. Similarly, by actively engaging with reading and creating context around our highlights, we prevent "Highlight Dementia" and enhance our learning experience. So, let us embrace boredom and engage actively with the written word, unlocking our creative potential and expanding our intellectual horizons.


  1. "Psychologists recommend children be bored in the summer", (Glasp)
  2. "How to cure Highlight Dementia", (Glasp)

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