And I don’t mean the fiction ones, I mean the ones you read to actually learn about something.
When I start such a book, I always create a new page in Backpack to hold the key points and some ideas that always seem to slip my mind. I use the prefix “Book – ” for this kind of pages to keep them sorted nicely in my sidebar. I use dividers to separate between the different chapters of the book and the notes feature to add anything I like. It’s quite powerful if you get the hang of formatting.
I then proceed with the book, skimming through the chapter and getting to know its structure. Afterwards, I proceed to reading it thoroughly, going through any examples (if any) to see if I got the hang of it, and underlining main points.
Yes, underlining, I think that some books must be used as textbooks to actually be useful. So if you’re the faint of heart that can’t stand the idea of spoiling a book with a *gasp* pencil, sorry, I’m not your kind of learner.
I then transfer those vital points to my Backpack page. In this way, I use it like my personal wiki.
I find that this method yields the best results when I really want to learn about something from a book.
So how do you read this kind of books, people? Are you even using books as part of your learning process, or do you rely solely on blogs and web content to gain expertise?
P.S. All content shown on my Backpack page preview is copyrighted to mr. John Resig.