Sasha Martinez's Reviews > How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler
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Sep 25, 11

bookshelves: books-read-in-2011

It’s such a dinosaur. Cranky, snooty, stuffy, pedantic, often condescending. It’s a manual. For intelligent reading. Very textbook-y, very fundamental. Very practical. Like some invisible ruler cracked against my keyboard-clobbering knuckles, like a pesky voice in your head.

It’s like having tea with your cane-thumping retiree-professor of a great-grandfather. Him demanding why you aren’t wearing hose, and will you please stand up straight? You bide your time, you promised you’d keep him company. And then, hours later, you realize you’re growing fond of the old coot, you can’t help but enjoy the starchiness. And there are rewards, there are gems your heart could ping with, the occasional moments of, egad, tenderness. Just imagine Gramps lecturing you on all the misreading you’ve committed, giving you precise directions on how to analyze a given book’s title, teaching you how to skim the right way. And then him suddenly going quiet, when you’ve mustered the courage to ask about fiction—him quiet and then, and then: “We do not know, we cannot be sure, that the real world is good. But the world of a great story is somehow good. We want to live there as often and as long as we can.” And you both reach for your cups of tea.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Curtis I like this review because it is so "right on!" (dating myself) Sometimes you can gain a lot from those stuffy, snooty types. It pays to look beyond the packaging.


message 2: by Natasha (new) - added it

Natasha enjoyed reading your review :)
Captures the experience very well methinks.


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