Tiffany'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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's review
Jul 01, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: geekature, booksaboutbooks
Read from July 30 to October 06, 2013

Hmmm... this may be a "classic," but it sure wasn't with me.

The premise of the book is that it's going to teach you how to Read (i.e. understand) a book (mostly non-fiction): analytically, comprehensively, skimming(ly?), and with different levels of reading (elementary, which kids do; inspectional, which, apparently, high schoolers do; and analytical). Some of the groundwork for the book was really quite interesting, like the section about how kids do or should learn to read and how they are or should be taught how to read. There's also some interesting stuff about how to mark a text (underlining, asterisks, margin notes, etc.) or how to really get in deep conversation with the text. But then, it just goes on and on. And on and on. And on.

Really, the section about kids learning to read was interesting, and there was minor validation in reading Adler's suggestions of how to mark a text (I kept thinking, "Ooh, I do that! Ooh, I did that to my college textbooks!"), and some good points about figuring out what a book's author's intention is, what his case is, what points he makes, whether he makes them convincingly, and what your thoughts on the subject were before you read said book; other than that, though, it just didn't grab me. Pretty much what I took away from the book is that I'm already a pretty decent reader, since most of what Adler suggested/taught was pretty much what I already do (although, not the extent it seems he wanted: from the sounds of it, his way would have you read a book two or three times -- who has time for that?!?).

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Reading Progress

10/06/2013 "now available on Bookmooch"

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