I appreciate everyone's comments on my last post about trying to make writing work for you as a graduate student.
Generally I consider myself a reader. Reading is one of my favorite activities; I always try to be reading something interesting that is not on my required reading list. But writing is another animal.
In the first round of graduate school, I had a practice of regularly writing my own abstract for each paper I read. It sounds time-consuming, but it worked for me. I felt like I was able to make a sizable dent in the literature right away. In graduate school take 2, books form more of my initial core of reading. This means that I spend a lot more time reading before I get to the end of the work. Because the page volume is much greater, I am challenged by trying to distill the material into the important stuff.
Do you have different strategies for reading books and papers so that you are able to keep track of what you've read?