I’ve been sorting through ten years of notes and ideas I’ve collected from countless workshops, seminars and articles. I smiled a few days ago when a quote from an old friend jumped off the page at me:
No amount of book-reading by kittens on “How To Be A Cat” will help them.
My friend Adrian would often say things in workshops that would make me smile and learn at the same time. Kittens can’t learn by reading, they must do things. They have to play their way to being cats.
By contrast, reading a thesis will help PhD candidates get ready for their vivas, but I think the principle of my friend holds. Reading your thesis is necessary, but not sufficient. Thinking is essential, but writing will make those thoughts clearer. Anticipating questions can be useful, but answering them is much, much better.
You can read your thesis, you need to read your thesis – but what else could you do?