My purpose for reading has shifted from "I want to learn this" to "I want to use this to prime my behavior".
After years of consuming psychology, business management and generally "how-to" books(as opposed to "what" books), I've learnt that I will only have gotten something tangible out of the book if it changes my behavior. If some of my mental framework(with regards to eg social interaction, persevering in hard workouts or challenging problem sets etc) shifts and I'm acting in a different way than before.
This works especially for biographies. When reading about someone I emulate, I tend to step into his/her shoes and adopt his/her mental disposition for a trait I'm weak in, or a similar problem I'm trying to solve in my daily life.
Problem is, this priming doesn't last for long. After a week or two the effects tend to be diminished. All the accumulated knowledge of "stand up confidently straight as if you were being pulled at the crown of your head by a string from the ceiling", or "the mind is like a muscle too, and can be trained by effortful focus" tend to fall prey to the forgetting curve.
This might be a sign that the knowledge has become unconscious, implicit. It would however be nice if I can consciously feel that I'm using it that so as to motivate further efforts.
One can used spaced repetition techniques to shift hard facts to long-term memory. My question is, how can a similar thing be done for soft skills and mental frameworks?