If you want to deeply internalize something you’re reading, the best way I know is to write about it:
For deep understanding, it’s not enough to just highlight or write marginalia in books: there isn’t much pressure to synthesize, connect, or to get to the heart of things. And they don’t add up to anything over time as you read more. Instead, write Evergreen notes as you read.
But of course, it doesn’t always make sense to read in this way: much of the time you’re not really trying to internalize the text deeply, and text may not be worthy of that much attention: The best way to read is highly contextual.
Also, it’s worth noting: The most effective readers and thinkers I know don’t take notes when reading. Speaking at least for myself, experience has suggested that I need more support to effectively engage with what I’m reading.
Our broad approach is an alternating cycle:
Luhmann, N. (1992). Communicating with Slip Boxes. In A. Kieserling (Ed.), & M. Kuehn (Trans.), Universität als Milieu: Kleine Schriften (pp. 53–61). Retrieved from http://luhmann.surge.sh/communicating-with-slip-boxes
It is impossible to think without writing; at least it is impossible in any sophisticated or networked (anschlußfähig) fashion.
Levy, N. (2013). Neuroethics and the Extended Mind. In J. Illes & B. J. Sahakian (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics (pp. 285–294). Oxford University Press.
Notes on paper, or on a computer screen … do not make contemporary physics or other kinds of intellectual endeavour easier, they make it possible.