I've developed a new way of reading, which is something I probably should have done a long time ago. I'm not the type of person to take notes as I read because I find it distracting. However, as I began my independent study course in writing, I knew I had to change some of my habits if I wanted to effectively convey the thoughts I had while reading the required texts. So, I dug through my desk drawers and pulled out my 4-pack of neon Post-its (with dispensers) and a category for each color: blue for interesting quotes, orange for questions I had, green for "musings" or passages that I wanted to comment on, and pink for anything else (which has developed into flagging a theory or process that I want to try). Armed with my pen and post-its I set out to read in a completely new way.
So far, I've found that it's not as distracting as I thought. I prefer writing my thoughts on post-its and then typing them into my journal at a later time. I've found that it's not the note taking that distracts me, it's switching back and forth from book to laptop (which usually means a quick check of Facebook and Google Reader) that takes me away from my intended task. I like the color coding system I developed because it's a quick visual way for me to see what parts have made an impression, and in what way. I've found that I'm thinking on a higher level as I read. I've switched from reading for pleasure or information and started reading from a more critical perspective.