The subject of reading has been on my mind a lot lately as we near the end of the year. I love to read and believe the books we read play a large role in who we become. One good book or one great sentence can change a life. As a result, I invest a great deal of time and thinking to developing my reading habits. Today I want to offer a few reading tips you may find beneficial. I hope it will be helpful to you.
Sir Frances Bacon said that, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and few to be chewed and digested." I couldn't agree with him more. Not every book deserves the level of attention I'm going to share with you. It's reserved for that select few books worthy of chewing and digesting.
I love the feel of a physical book in my hand. There is something about the feel of the paper, the weight in your hands and the smell of the pages that makes me come alive. Although not my exclusive practice I choose to read physical copies over electronic copies most of the time.
Read with pen in hand.
We start with one of the most fundamental elements of getting the most out of a good book. Mark it up by writing in the margins, underlining or highlighting your favorite parts and returning to them often. Mark those especially important sentences, arguments or thoughts in the margin and take note of that with which you disagree. Grab the book and wrestle it until it relinquishes its secrets. This transforms your reading from that of a casual observer to an engaged participant.
Some people are shy about writing in books, but I can think of no greater compliment to the author that to deem one of their sentences worthy of underlining. And no greater tribute to their intellect than to track their thoughts after them page by page. Work hard to understand the book and interact with the authors arguments.
Write down ideas, thoughts, quotes and reflections as you read. One great way to do this is to keep a running note in your favorite note app. You may also find it helpful to keep an executive summary of the book on the blank pages at the beginning and end of the book. Track important arguments and thoughts. Ask questions of the author and return to them as you find the answers. These pages are perfect for creating a summary or outline and become an archive of learning.