Thinking back on how I have always read passages, I do have an internal conversation with myself. After each paragraph (or sentence if the material is difficult) I ask myself, “What did I just read?” If something in the reading catches my attention (makes me laugh, reminisce, question etc.) I will become sidetracked (asking myself how that statement familiar to me, think about a time when something similar happened to me, etc.). Overall, I can not think of a time when I have read and not had an internal conversation with myself and/or imagined a picture in my head about what was going on in the reading.
Most of the readings I do now are for school assignments. Being that the readings are vital to my education, I make sure I fully understand before I move on in the book. For this type of reading I highlight information that I believe to be important or write notes on the side of the pages/ or my notebook so I can have the idea in my own words. Highlighting and taking notes make it easier for me to study for the exam over the readings. For readings that are for personal pleasure I highlight some funny, sad, thrilling, etc. times in the book, but rarely need to take notes because the reading is always interesting to me otherwise I would not be reading it.
How do I decide what information is important when I am reading? I normally ask what the story, chapter, or passage is about. From there I begin to think about what is in the reading that answers or really goes into detail about what the reading is about. Sometimes I will consider the highlighted words to be important, the title of a paragraph to be important, steps or stages of something to be important, or how something is used to be important. It does, however, depend solely on the reader and his or her own views and/or interests. What I may consider to be important could not be what some one else may consider to be important.