Often I find myself re-reading the pages of dense philosophical works over and over and over to try and remember what the development of the argument is and its relationship to what they are now discussing.
I decided to try and summarize each page with a sentence or two at the bottom of the page as a way to continually stay engaged with the work. This technique has helped me tremendously for three reasons.
First, I am forced to find the trajectory of the work and what is most important to it for that particular page.
Second, I am able to go back through my texts more easily for summaries and to know whether or not it is completed. When I see a page with a sentence at the bottom I have a feeling of completion.
Third, when I go back to these works, I can check whether my original interpretation is any good. And this becomes all the more profitable because I have a lens to read the work through, which I often find necessary to try and decipher these texts.
I often wonder whether I have turned reading too much into a technique. But I think that having ways of dealing with difficult things (texts, music, life decisions etc.) is a way of engaging that is often the most profitable for both parties.