Reading Well!

Reading well is important to leaders! Michael Hyatt says Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. I’ve always made it my practice to make the most of any reading I get to do. I’m not the fastest reader, but here’s how I try to make it memorable and useful.

1) I read with a highlighter and pen in hand

The number one thing for me to retain useful stuff from my reading is to highlight it and make a note in the margin. It’s okay to deface a book you own that way! i highlight significant points and great quotes.

2) Rewind and scan!

Having read the book through, the next step for me is to get those quotes in a useful place for using in the future. I want to store them for easy searching and retrieval later. I used to type them in by hand, but that is so time consuming. Nowadays I use a pen scanner – in my case the Infoscan TS – it’s pretty good about 90% accurate. I scan the useful quotes into my own little database online – but a word document would also be good!

4) I summarise the book

Recently I have restarted this practice –  I summarise the book in a word document in my “reading” directory – that really seals the nuggets of gold and useful information into my memory and makes it easy to find later. A simple search helps me find useful stuff later where I wander which book it came out of.

Often I find nuggets in books that the title wouldn’t hint would be there. At the moment I am reading “Satan and His Kingdom” by Dennis MacCullum – he has a fantastic appendix on the Servant Songs -my book summary will enable me to find that in a search at a later date, in addition to diving into the more obvious “Isaiah God Saves sinners” by Ray Ortlund or Motyer’s “The Prophecy of Isaiah

Having a system that makes for easy retrieval of what you have learned is vital to retaining your reading.

How do you remember what you have read?

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