The first and foremost tip on the matter is to eliminate the distractions. This is done as most of the literature is dense. By dense we mean that it has many themes and complex characterization that may not go so easy with the new reader. Removing distractions can help in the better reading and understanding of the literature as in a quieter and friendly environment, one can concentrate better as compared to a disturbed atmosphere. You must look to remove the sources of sounds and noise from the place and ask the people to leave the area where you plan to study the books.
Now you should summarize all the sections of the books of literature. A study that is done in more time is effective and you should be looking forward to doing that.
Then you should outline the themes of the literature. Try to discover the themes of the book while reading rather than figuring them out by reading the summary of the book at first.
Annotating text will also help in reading and understanding literature as the dense themes need time to get understood. Take notes on the matters and jot them down. These annotations will definitely help.
Finally you should always drop all the perceptions of the book that exist in your mind prior to reading. This will make the reading smoother and help understanding it.