I find so much of reading a book takes place after I finish the last page. For me, someone still relatively new to reading books for pleasure, I find books really grow on me after I’m finished reading them.
Part of it is definitely letting my brain gel on the topic I’ve just read. After I’m done a book, it usually mentally goes on my back burner, but I often find myself making mental connections to what I’ve just read pretty often after I finish reading.
Ideally, I’d like to formalize this process a little better, by taking more time to reflect on the books I’m reading (among other things). I’ve never been a super thorough note-taker, but it seems like a good way to reflect on what I’m reading. (It also kinda feels like work to me, which is perhaps why I don’t take reading notes!)
But there’s value in this extra churning. Even if a book is kind of a slog to read, I’ll usually try my best to finish it, because I’ll often get more value out of these books after they’re done than while I’m reading them. It’s these extra connections, made with other books I’ve read or experiences I’ve had, which draw out the value in a book. I suspect the more books I read, the stronger this gets.