Post Reading Strategies

We must master some basic post reading strategies to truly benefit from a good book. Commit the post reading strategies to memory, implement them in your daily reading time, you will grow and then the ideas will come.

Summit the Mountain of Must-Read Books

written by Debra Lynne Langley

I slap the covers closed and soak up that feeling of accomplishment, another book is done and dusted. As I log the new title into my GoodReads library I'm dismayed to see how slowly the list of Read Books is climbing.

I was born impatient....when I decide to make things happen I like to see instant action...I'm a click of the fingers....wave of the wand kind of girl. Looking up at the mountain of looming MUST READ titles.....Will I ever summit? Will the piles and piles of unread books ever reduce in number?

The answer to this question is.....NO....there are just too many new books and recommendations that cross my path each month. Each book as magnetic as the next. It's not possible to oppose the magnetic pull of the poles.

Like summiting Everest, you must carefully plan out the route and be open to delays and changes to your plans, with the inclement weather, sickness and other unforeseen challenges. Summiting a huge pile of unread books is just as challenging. You can plan and prepare the set-order to follow, but must stay flexible. New-found interests, recommendations by others, authors of existing books and unanswered questions can all lead you off in new unplanned directions.

A climber set to summit Everest has one primary goal.....to see the world from the top of the highest peak. A reader's primary purpose is conquer the mountain of must-read books. It doesn't matter what the final route is that takes you to your destination.....we must keep reading.....keep climbing.....keep making progress towards the final goal.

We often stare at the looming peaks ahead.......the peaks behind us are soon forgotten. Have they shaped who we are? Have they made a difference in our lives? Has each small peak conquered made us stronger in any way? What life lessons have been learned along the way?

Flicking through my list of MUST READ books got me thinking. What happens to each title we summit and shelve back onto the bookcase? Are the wisdom and lessons learned soon forgotten? A simple statistic in a reading program? How do you capture the thrill of the summit and remember it for the rest of your life?

Francis Bacon so aptly said, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested, that is some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some to be read wholly and with diligence and attention."

To experience the thrill of the summit and make it ripple effect into the rest of our lives we must learn to master a few basic post reading strategies. Read a book with a pen in your hand, Piper tells us, "Any book worth reading is worth writing in." Highlight any parts of the book that you would like to remember, quotations etc., re-read the golden nuggets and summarize them in a journal or notebook before you put the book back onto the shelf. Read excerpts of the book to your family and friends, talk about the books, quote from them, use stories and anecdotes to help reinforce key concepts in your everyday life. Think about what you have read and ask yourself WHY did the author write this book? What key concepts did he want to share with his readers? Compare the book with other similar titles you have read. Does it rate more highly? Do you agree or disagree with what the author has said? Discuss the key points with other people who have also read the book. Buy an extra copy and share it with a friend.

"It's the ideas and passages from books that are discussed most carefully with friends that are sunk the furthest into the mind, and those sunk the furthest are the ones you will carry the longest."- Tony Reinke.

It's ideas that are sunk deepest into our minds that lay strong creativity foundations and prove most fruitful later on. Master these basic post reading strategies. They will help you benefit from the wisdom within the pages of the books you read.

Summit your mountain of must-read books, but re-read and remember the ones that have already shaped you.

Post Reading Strategies

  • Re-read the golden nuggets.
  • Summarize key concepts.
  • Talk about the book with others.
  • Read excerpts to others.
  • Re-read an old book before you read a new one.
  • Quote from books you have read.
  • Use stories and anecdotes from the books to help illustrate key concepts.
  • Compare with other books.
  • Discuss the book with others.
  • Form an opinion. Do you agree or disagree?
  • Why did the author write the book?
  • Share the book with others.
  • Review your notes and summaries often.
  • Give as a gift.
  • Re-read more than once.
  • Track/list books you have read.
  • Leave your comments.
  • Rate them.
  • Browse through your Books Read list often.
  • Choose another book.

More reading resources and creativity sparks

How to read effectively

Things to READ and DO to spark creativity

Colourful words to trigger new ideas.

A collection of sight words to spark ideas.

Sparking a taste of creativity.

Sensory words of touch.

A collection of quotable sayings to inspire creativity.

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"A drop of ink may make a million think." -Lord Byron

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