In response to “What are some techniques to help me read critically?”
Read sitting up, not leaning back.
Read with a pen in hand, and point its tip toward the page, as if it's a knife, ready to cut.
Read with your mouth; read aloud sentences that might have rhythmic qualities.
Read Nietzsche or another philosopher who requires two or three passes over a passage, to fully grokk.
Read angry, filled with bile and disappointment.
Read as if the house is on fire. Read as if this text is a link to your mysterious past.