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Getting the most out of your read. It’s what I want. Is it what you dream about, late at night? Perhaps not, though if you’re reading this on ‘The Discerning Reader’, it’s a good bet it occupies your mind at some point during the day.
Reading with a pencil in hand allows me to notate various nuggets of information, underline passages speaking to me, new words, notable character traits. Have you ever looked back at a book and come across notations you’ve made? Feelings of excitement arise. You’re immediately taken back to when those markings were scratched, your prior state of mind becomes apparent, where you were, who you were. A sudden comparison to the now gives you a feeling of progression, you’ve undoubtedly grown as a reader, and an individual. Any reminder of who you once were may very well result in thankfulness you live in the now.
Another way, upon completion, write a short review, or interpretation rather. A wise individual once told me, a book isn’t finished yet until you write out your feelings regarding what you have just read. If it affected you, it’d be quite valuable to help understand why. Additionally, rereading your reaction later on will give you that same insight about yourself I mentioned prior.
Attempt challenging reads. Flex your literary muscles, read tougher literature and divert your course slightly from the norm of the same, the safe, the comfortable. Before long, difficult books will no longer present as such, you may in fact uncover new fields of interest.
Learn more about yourself and improve. Reading any genre will provide a good starting point. Careful not to make it about the number of books you’ve read. Learning a work of literature will provide a benefit, provided you learn it. Challenge yourself.