Press "Enter" to skip to content

5 Active Reading Strategies (And How I’m Applying Them)

Table of Contents
    1. Video Notes

Active reading is simply a means of reading a book with the deliberate intent to learn and apply something from it.

In my last video on reading textbooks, I compared your textbooks to an art museum. These places are filled to the brim with sculptures, paintings, medieval weaponry, and silent guards who you’re just are judging you for staring at that statue’s genitalia for too long.

You can approach a museum in two ways: either you stroll through it without much thought, looking at pretty things and wondering how much trouble you’d get in for touching them, or you go in with the intent to learn about the pieces. You read the descriptions next to the paintings, note the artist, and take photos of pieces you particularly like.

When you read a book, you can adopt either of these methods as well – and the latter is called active reading.

In this video, I’ll be doing two things:

  • Giving you 5 techniques for applying active reading to any book you read
  • Showing you how I’m using active reading strategies in 3 different books

…one of which you can see in the thumbnail for this video. And yes, reading with a monocle definitely improves comprehension. Because… reasons.

Video Notes

Here’s a Pinterest-worthy image if you’d like to share this post there.

  • Cal Newport isn’t a fan of rigid active reading systems either
  • “But do I take notes on what I’m reading?” – Here are my top 5 note-taking systems
  • will change the way you make decisions. You should definitely read it.
  • is a great book on winning scholarships. If you want more money for school, read it.
  • is a challenging, yet rewarding book on cognitive biases, heuristics, and rationality. If you want a tough but enlightening read, pick it up.

What active reading technique works best for you?

Oh yeah – and if you want to implement the habit I’ve been building on my 3rd book and need some extra motivation, join the CIG guild on HabitRPG. We’ll keep you accountable.