When I shared my reading list for this year in January, a blog reader, Laura, wrote the following:
“I have a 2016 reading list as well. Sometimes I think I should read fewer books and work more on putting them into action. I wonder if I am any different three months later than before I read a parenting book or marriage book or other such type of book. Do you have thoughts or tips on such or do you hope it is just somewhat renewing your mind?”
She had an excellent point! Often we read a book, take in a number of helpful thoughts and ideas – maybe even highlight or underline portions (with an actual highlighter or on an e-reader) – but then finish the book and never go back to it again.
In my own experience, I’ve found that there are certain quotes or thoughts that I just don’t want to forget. When that’s the case, here are six things I might do.
1. Put it in the Notes section of your phone (or some other note-taking app). Since I have my phone nearby almost all the time, it’s easy to type in a quick quote and then pull it up later to think about some more. I also do that with Bible verses that I come across in my daily devotions and want to meditate on.
2. Keep a journal (or just a simple notebook) with handwritten notes of lessons you’ve learned from books.
3. Copy passages or quotes onto 3×5 cards. This would make it easy to file them into categories (parenting, marriage, finances, etc.) for future reference.
4. However you record your reading highlights, make a habit of going back and reading the notes/quotes on a consistent basis (daily, weekly, etc.)
5. If you’ve gotten a lot of material out of a particular book, create a list of books that are worth re-reading. A couple of examples of that type of book for me are “Stepping Heavenward” and “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” If you’d like to see my complete list, check out my Books to Read Again board on Pinterest. It only has 17 books on it at this point, but that’s okay – not too many books are actually worthy of a second read!
6. If you’re a blogger, type up a quick draft post for each quote/idea you may want to expand on in the future.
As I told Laura in my response to her comment, I do think reading good, quality literature refreshes our mind. I believe it’s one of the best ways to keep learning and growing even when we’re way past our “formal education” years!
Do you have other tips on preserving lessons from books?