My relationship to non-fiction reading changes immediately when I make a point of reading with a notepad and pen in close proximity. It slows down my reading, but I retain a lot more: core phrases and ideas; stray thoughts that come up in response to the content; ideas that will eventually become stories and blog posts.
This morning I picked up William Woods The History of the Devil, which I read a few weeks back without annotating at all, and immediately realised I am going to end up re-reading it because all the dog-eared pages don’t actually mean anything anymore. There are too many bits, too little context.
It’s a book that would have been far more enjoyable, had I actually read it right, but I was distracted by other things and it was read on trains, or over lunch, or in-between other things.
Of all the things I’m looking forward to about doing a PhD, having the time to read things the way I like to read them is right at the top of the list.