How do you study history as a hobby

Feb 2017
59
Central Europe
#1
So I was wondering how do you guys study history as adults who don't need to worry about exams etc? Most articles on the web are targeted at students, but this time I'm wondering about learning history as a hobby for adults.
Is reading books enough or do you have some advanced study techniques that help you understand the context better, remember the info and gain deeper insight into matters?
Do you take traditional notes, mind maps, flashcards...? Any tips for organisation?
Do you create a curriculum or simply read/watch whatever interests you at the moment?
Do you revise notes or re-read books to refresh your memory?

Or, are you lazy as me and only read passively, maybe underlining here and there, determined to copy the lines into your notebook "next weekend" which never happens? :D
 
Feb 2016
5,049
Atlantic Ocean
#2
As a Adult who works, what i do is what i call the scatter shot (Or blunderbuss) approach to History.

What do i find interesting? for this example i will go Rome.

Whats a interesting area? 2nd Punic Wars

Then i do this

- Read wiki page
- Buy or borrow book about subject
- Read on Days off
- Days i work i meditate on what i learned at work (Quotes, Battles That sort off thing)
- Write a .txt file about the subject with all i have learnt in it

And in my special case
- Pick something different for the next week
- Continue unto death

Not very effective but it works for me, its how i bounce from world war 2 to the warring states of China to Rome seemingly at random :D
 
Jan 2017
882
Tampa, FL
#3
So I was wondering how do you guys study history as adults who don't need to worry about exams etc? Most articles on the web are targeted at students, but this time I'm wondering about learning history as a hobby for adults.
Is reading books enough or do you have some advanced study techniques that help you understand the context better, remember the info and gain deeper insight into matters?
Do you take traditional notes, mind maps, flashcards...? Any tips for organisation?
Do you create a curriculum or simply read/watch whatever interests you at the moment?
Do you revise notes or re-read books to refresh your memory?

Or, are you lazy as me and only read passively, maybe underlining here and there, determined to copy the lines into your notebook "next weekend" which never happens? :D
Podcasts [see signature] (on my commute, while running, sometimes to get to sleep).
Documentaries
Forums
Historical Fiction

I read some primary sources and literature on my kindle.. Bede, Anglo Saxon Chronicle, Beowulf, King arthur... Stuff is all free for download so that's what I'm doing now.

I stick to a particular time period for a year (I've mentioned this in other threads) so that I don't get confused. This year I'm looking at mostly Medieval history and Byzantium and working my way to the Renaissance by the end of the year. It's more about what I exclude than what I include. If I see something about the Tudors it might be interesting, but I ignore it for now.

-Dave K
 
Apr 2017
5
South Carolina
#4
Honestly for me, I just really love history and read it on a daily basis. How I learn it and retain my information really depends on the subject at hand. If it is a person then I tend to simply watch a documentary or read a biography unless they are too obscure or don't have decent biographies of course, in this case I just rely on Wikipedia. When it comes to wars and battles, I read a Wikipedia of the battle and then attempt to find a documentary or video that will give visuals to help reinforce my imagination of the event. Imagining the event in my head visually is really the best way for me to learn battles. Hope this helps!

Just FYI, I'm saying this an an adult enrolled in college with a major in History and working a job at the same time.
 
Jan 2016
589
United States, MO
#5
My approach is to simply find an obscure question that I want to know the answer to and then it usually sends me on a hunt for at least a week or maybe a month depending on how long it takes me to get the books. Once I have answered the question, I usually remember it because it took effort to find the answer.

And then the next question will soon follow, and it could be completely unrelated to the previous one.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,372
Albuquerque, NM
#6
I like helping people, but my eyesight is failing and so I am reading less everyday. When people have a question that falls inside my circle of knowledge/belief, I try to think of an answer that will be informative and interesting regardless of the audience's experience/knowledge. Once I have the thought worked out, I try to fact check from our library or on the Internet. This is gaining in importance as my memory is beginning to play little pranks on the olde man. Words I've used commonly are harder to call up on demand, and so I'm constantly looking for substitutes. I read a lot of posts here, but from a slightly different perspective. When someone asks us to identify artifacts or faded photos, it sets me off on a treasure hunt and I discover new things. Is not learning a pleasure?
 
Oct 2011
4,468
Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
#7
Mine is family history/genealogy examining original documents on-line or at libraries and records offices, visiting ancestral homes, churches and graveyards. I also love diaries which tend to bring the past to life more vividly with their trivia of everyday routine and concerns. I like this site too!
 
Apr 2017
1
USA
#8
Your thread just remind me of the sentence.
It's never too late to learn what you want to do .
Definitely as an adult, you need to work.
maybe u can watch some documentaries on history in your leisure time.
I have watched several documentaries on different countries which left a good impression on me.
Hobbies are adults' mental medicine from reality
And I have metal detector hobby.
 
Oct 2015
5,222
Matosinhos Portugal
#10
Since my school days, I started to enjoy history starting with my country, and the history of universal, today with the new technolo- gies that exist, it is easier to learn the history of everyone.
 

Similar History Discussions