Here are a handful of grounds to “Read with a pencil close by.” I found out it is still one of the best advices ever given to writers or students of the printed text.
Mark Phrases/Sentences & Paragraphs
When a phrase or paragraph catches my eye and sparks up a desire for complemental musing, I mark it using a colored pen/pencil or highlighter. I feel much better having a textual landmark around it, knowing it will arouse zeal whenever I spot it.
I pick up a fiction/nonfiction text then grab for a colored pencil or highlighter and I feel a sense of commitment. The pen/pencil informs every nerve in my body that I mean business. I aint just doing this for fun, I intend to come off the reading project with a lesson and some learned.
Recall Entire Textual Matter
It’s a lot more easy to call up words from memory if you underline/mark them when you read. I do that often and when my mind coughs up those peculiar sentences they usually appear on the wall of my subconscious as images. I visualize the interesting set of words hemmed in by my scrawls before the title of the book essentially floats to the surface.
Spot Peculiar Phrases/Sentences/Paragraphs
I find I can navigate the text with ease when I circle or box words that chase my fancy. For me, it’s become less stressful identifying a line or box in the middle of a page, to find the sentence or phrase it guards. I can pick out these phrases during my research period. The lines and symbols seem to beg for my attention.
Lookout for Peculiar Twists
Having a highlighter close by where I can reach it and tag a phrase keeps my faculty amped up and on the lookout for expressions full of shades of meaning. The search for inspired language morphs into a conscious, energetic process and for somebody out to learn a new thing that’s a lot.
That’s all folks. I guess you know what you need for your next reading exercise besides the text, that is.
Keep your pen bleeding.