If we are looking for an effective way to learn, we must write.
What I am describing is essentially re-writing. To paraphrase someone else’s knowledge applied to our own context, our world view and emotions
When we rewrite knowledge in our own words, it becomes a transformation: Instead of a carbon copy of someone else’s wisdom, we infuse their concepts with our own essence.
In paraphrasing someone else’s knowledge, we create our own wisdom.
While more time consuming in the short term, writing this way compounds into more knowledge because we internalize what we read and consume, instead of information going in one ear and out the other.
Exclamation Points and Question Marks
When friends ask to borrow books, I often sheepishly apologize in advance for their poor reading experience.
More often than not, I will offer to buy them a copy instead.
The insides of my books are covered with underlines, scribbles, notes, insights, takeaways, emojis, or random exclamation points or question marks. Sometimes an emoji or two if I’m feeling artistic.
I am aware these notes will eventually fade away or get lost over time, I find them all the more precious this way.
I’m not looking for them to become a part of my digital library of notes. The maintenance of such a system can take away from the spontaneous joy I feel when reading a book.
What they represent instead are retellings of knowledge, internalized through my own life experience. In doing so, I make the author’s words my own, in my own unique way.