How do I benefit from what I read?
Whoever reads much with meditation, exercises his spiritual senses for the intent that he finds an atmosphere for spiritual meditation in all subjects of his reading. He may come out with a benefit from any good book he reads, if he reads it in a spiritual manner. There are two ways to benefit from your reading.
Start reading by prayer, so you do not depend on your human mind which may err but rather ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Before your spiritual reading, pray telling God how weak you are and how your understanding and human mind are limited and incapable to reach the Divine words which the prophet David said, “Open my eyes so I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.” (Psalm 119: 18)
Consider what you read to be a personal letter directed to you and take from it a special lesson to learn for you personally. Apply what you can with discernment in your life. Be sorry for what you cannot do and pity your weaknesses in humility. Tell God your desires and ask the intercession of the saints who excelled in the spiritual path. Keep what you have read in your memory. Probably you will need it later in appropriate circumstances.