If you choose a work to read it must have some envisioned value to you. There's no need to rush through it. Take your time to read it. Slow down. Stop occasionally and ponder what you've just read and make note of it.
Many of us remember what we've seen, read or heard by writing it down. Read with a notebook at your side. Makes notes of the crucial passages you've just read. Write down what you want to take with you from the book. What you want to apply to yourself. I suggest a notebook or journal that you can shelve and refer back to repeatedly.
Write in the Margins
I know some of us are purists and don't like to write in our books. But a book is only a thing. It is the words on the page that are important, not it's pristine condition when we're through with it. Write in those margins! The next person who reads that book may profit from your marginalia.
Closely associated with the last suggestion I would add that highlighting makes it much easier to refer back to those portions that stand out to you. I often joke when I loan a book that all the important passages are already highlighted. So it is for yourself and the next reader, highlighting makes it much easier to go back and find that important passage the made you laugh, made you cry or simply something that you need to remember and apply to your life.
Review the Book When You're Done
Once you've finished reading, making notes and highlighting a book you've only completed the first step. Go back, review what you've read. Review your highlights and marginalia and your notes. Put it all together. Did you understand the thrust of the book? What exactly did you learn? How will you apply those ideas and suggestions from the author to your life and work.
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