I recently was going back through a book I read a while ago, and I had highlighted some sections inside of it. Those sections were indeed interesting, but the highlight was mostly useless. Why had I highlighted those words? Did I agree with them? Disagree? Have other thoughts? There was no way to easily tell.
By itself, the highlighting was mostly meaningless.
When reading a book (or article, etc), there are a few ways to make note of what you’re learning.
- Highlight and recap quickly, which I generally try to do. I’ll put sticky notes in a book or highlight on a Kindle, and then review those and write up my thoughts soon after.
- Recap immediately. I know some people that will come across an interesting passage and will instantly stop reading and build out their thoughts on it in their notebook. I like this approach, though I’ve not tried it yet.
- Highlight and note for later. I do a bit of this now, but I hope it’s more beneficial using a tool like the Kindle Scribe when it comes out. In theory, I can highlight in the book and scribble some quick thoughts, and then move on. Days later, when I finish the book, I can go back to build my full recap and have those quick notes to jog my memory on why I thought that section was noteworthy.
It doesn’t really matter how you do it. As long as you have a way to record what was interesting to you and why you found it interesting, it should help quite a bit.
How do you prefer to take notes when reading a book?