How to Study From a Textbook: 8 Tips On the Best Way to Read a Textbook

how to study from a textbook

In 2019, 19 million students entered their first year of college, and along with it came loads of reading. 

Studying, reading, researching, and writing are expected for college students, but sometimes it’s hard to learn how to study from a textbook. 

You want to get the most out of your college experience, so learning how to study to retain the material is of utmost importance. 

But studying doesn’t come naturally for some people. In fact, for some people, it’s quite a challenge, especially if the material is boring or difficult to read. If you’re a college student that’s stumped by textbooks and how to read them, continue reading.

8 Tips on How to Study From A Textbook

Ready to crack open a book and start studying? Before you do, here are some tips so you can absorb the material. 

1. Start at The End

While you should never approach mysteries this way, starting at the end of a textbook has a great advantage. This is because textbooks are not narrative style; they exist to educate and not necessarily entertain. 

By starting at the end of a chapter, you review questions, main ideas that summarize the text, familiarize yourself with vocabulary, and more. Reading through the questions will help you pick up the answers as you go through the reading, and make the ideas more understandable.

2. Skim The Material

After reviewing the ending of the chapters, skim the material the get a good idea of what you’re going to be reading. Look over all the headings, subheadings, margins, and extra notes that might be included. 

This way, you’re not diving in headfirst without understanding what you might be reading. A quick skim does not need to be in-depth, but to simply become acquainted with the material.

3. Pause And Reflect

There will occasionally be moments where you may read something that you don’t agree with or are not familiar with. These are perfect moments to pause and reflect on what you’ve read. Ask yourself questions such as, why do I think this way, or what is standing out to me?

There are also moments when it’s a good idea to stop anyway and narrate what you’ve read to yourself or others. Narration is a great way for the ideas to solidify in your mind and to gain an overall understanding of the text. 

4. Handy Highlighter And Notetaking

When you come across an idea that you think deserves more time and attention, or that stood out to you, highlight it. Highlighting helps you retain and find those major themes, details, or big ideas that the text is trying to communicate. Or, highlight if you simply love a phrase or particular wording so you can return to it later.

Notetaking is another way to record your thoughts or questions you might have while reading the text. It’s important to write these down because you don’t want to forget them, and you can look over them later.

5. Maximize Your Time

Being a college student means you are busy with other activities besides studying: work, family, social life, and so forth. While studying should be one of the primary goals for you, it’s important to make the most of your time. 

When you sit down to read and study, break your readings into sections by the time you have to study. This way, you’re spreading your time out so you can accomplish all the readings you need, and not spending unnecessary time on one portion. 

6. Read Out Loud

Have you ever had anyone read out loud to you? While it might seem like reading out loud is for children’s stories at the library, reading out loud has benefits for adults as well. 

Reading out loud improves comprehension and exposes you to new vocabulary words. When you read your textbook out loud versus reading it silently, you’ll boost your memory and likely pick up on details you may have skipped or overlooked while reading silently. 

7. Take A Break

Have you ever started reading and kept reading for so long that nothing starts to seem clear anymore, or the words start blurring together? If so, then it’s time to take a break!

Not all studying must be tedious and draining. If you feel tired, worn out, or you’ve reached your limit, take some time to clear your mind by taking a walk, getting something to eat, and generally stepping away from the text for a bit. Doing this will allow you to come back refreshed and refocused.

8. Review

There’s no point in studying if you’re not learning anything! One of the best things you can do after reading and studying is to review the material. This could be out loud, or by answering questions located in the textbook. 

It’s also important to review the material you read before starting another chapter or study session. When you do this, you remember what you read and how it might connect to the previous reading. Always make a point to review before and after reading to help everything sink in. 

Get to Studying!

When you’re wondering how to study a textbook, some great tips can get you through the rigorous studying that happens when you’re in higher education. With a little planning and preparation, your study session can be fulfilling and beneficial. 

Are you looking for textbook rentals? We’ve got you covered! Visit our website today to see if we have the book you’re looking for!

Textbook Covers and More: How to Keep Your Textbooks in Tip Top Shape

textbook covers

You may find yourself being more cautious about your textbooks than any other book you own. And why wouldn’t you?

After all, we all know how expensive textbooks can be. As a result, we want them to be protected at all costs. Any serious damage could mean shelling out another few hundred dollars for a replacement copy.

But how do we protect our textbooks? Is there a secret formula?

Well, there’s no secret formula — but there is a great product to invest in.

Textbook covers are the best way to protect your textbooks from damage. Let’s have a look at why you should invest in a few. Let’s also look at the many ways in which you can protect your textbooks and keep them safe from damage.

Why You Should Consider Textbook Covers

We don’t often think about the importance of protecting the outer layer of our textbooks. After all, isn’t the information inside what counts?

But if you invest in a textbook cover you not only prevent your book from damage but by preserving its condition you have a greater chance of reselling it.

Textbook covers can be bought directly. This is the easiest way to protect the cover of your book. If you are unable to afford a book cover, you can also make your own.

The best homemade cover is to use heavy construction paper. Make sure you buy a large sheet of construction paper. You should lay your book down, open, with the cover facing upward. Then you should roll your construction paper over the cover until it is fully obscured.

Then you cut the excess paper and tape the construction paper to your textbook cover. We suggest that you keep as much construction paper as possible in case you need to make another cover again.

There are additional precautions to take to protect your textbooks. Let’s have a look at them.


You should never keep them laying directly in sunlight for too long. Ideally, your textbook should be indoors as often as possible. Your home should be kept at room temperature — 70 degrees Fahrenheit will do it. If you prefer a cold temperature that also works. 

But your temperature at home should never be hot unless it is needed. Your textbooks will survive in colder temperatures.

You should also not keep your textbooks in the attic or in a box for too long. This can cause it to be exposed to moisture and can lead to mold growth on your textbooks!


Your textbooks should be cleaned regularly. If you’ve placed a book cover on your textbook, take it off once in a while and gently wipe the cover with a wet tissue.

If your textbook has gathered dust, make sure to clean this off. The longer your textbook lies on your bookshelf, the greater the likelihood of it gathering dust is. One of the best ways of removing dust is to use a soft brush attachment to vacuum the dust.

With this being said, you also want to make sure that your bookshelf is dusted. 

You will also want to remove all your books from your bookshelf and give it a thorough wipe before placing your books back.


It is imperative that you organize your textbooks appropriately so as to conserve them. Make sure they are always kept upright on your desk or bookshelf. Use a bookend if the need arises.

You also want to make sure that your books are organized according to their size. Have larger textbooks arranged to start from the left side of your bookshelf. Then your textbooks should get smaller as the shelf comes to an end. But make sure that there is uniformity in how they are organized.

If there are any books that do not fit well in a bookshelf, then you can stack them on top of one another. Make sure that a stack is not too large. No more than four books should be stacked on top of each other.

When stacking books, make sure that the heaviest book is always on the bottom. The lightest book should, of course, be on the top.

You also want to make sure that you are not having to force a textbook to fit on a bookshelf. Doing so will greatly damage your textbooks.

What Not to Do

What are some things that you should avoid to look after your textbooks?

You should make sure that your bookshelf is not placed along an exterior wall. This is where you are most likely to experience a higher temperature and a higher level of humidity. The combination of the two of these will likely damage your textbooks.

If you can place your bookshelf away from an exterior wall, this is the ideal scenario. Placing it against an interior wall is fine.

If you need to repair a damaged book cover, you shouldn’t use glue or adhesive tape. This can cause further problems for your book cover. The best way is to actually hire a qualified conservator. If this is not an option, you may wish to purchase a new copy altogether.

When removing your book from a bookshelf, make sure you take it from the middle rather than grabbing it from the top. Doing so will damage the spine over time. When using a bookmark, use an actual bookmark. Folding a page, using a sticky note, or even a paperclip will lead to damage in the long run.

As we mentioned previously, your book cover should always be cleaned with a wet tissue. Using an oil or even a leather cleaner (for leather-bound books) is not the best idea.

Look After Your Books

Now that you know the benefits of textbook covers and the other ways to maintain and look after your textbooks, you are ready to conserve your textbooks and let them last longer.

Be sure to read our other great articles on textbooks and the college lifestyle!