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I took notes religiously, trying various techniques of organization and highlighting.

I always have the urge to highlight what I find most interesting to me while reading. To be honest, when I find myself without a pen, a feeling of discomfort grows in me. I need to highlight because I'm feeling related to that particular phrase/sentence. 

I've developed some naive self-discovery techniques. 

  1. Pick an old book and see some highlights. Think of why you feel related to this set of words. Write it down. 
  2. Word cloud of topics. Our interests vary with time. We are not exposed to the same external factors and feel the same emotions. A word cloud of our main interests written through time could be helpful to understand the nature of your curiosity and personality. Have a closer look at what remains and what doesn't.