How to Read a Book
You are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them -- from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and i ...more
This book was written in a very different time where authors like to tal…moreYes, this book is worth it. Yes, this book will change a lot on your reading.
This book was written in a very different time where authors like to talk too much and convey too little. Author has filled it with sound advice wrapped in a lot of criticism of the education system and approach to education and reading. To really learn from the book, you'll need to see past the rhetoric.
How to go about reading this book if you find it too boring, and/or repetitive:
- Look at the outline - understand the structure of the book and draw the big picture.
- Read a summary of the levels of reading the author mentions (Elementary, Inspectional, Analytical, and Syntopical) and the steps to achieve each level. The book is about these 4 levels and how to achieve them. That's all. If you know this, you can skip all the rhetoric and finish the book really quickly while still taking-in all that the author wanted to convey.
I hope this will be of some help. (less)
I am a former sufferer of depression, and a graduate in psychology. I struggled in school but, when I complained to my health care providers, they always blamed the disorder or the drugs and said there was nothing I could do. After suffering for more than a decade, I stopped treatment AMA (it worked well for me, but I do not recommend this) and wound up in remission (my body finally recovered but the drugs were interfering with my body asserting itself). I still struggled with reading problems. Finally, being off meds and medically diagnosed as in remission, they listened to me and referred me for testing: turns out, I have had Learning Disabilities - including a form of dyslexia - since birth and they were always blaming something else.
My point is that Health Care Providers can get a little lazy, attributing everything to one diagnosis and missing the rest of the picture. I would ask your psychiatrist for help investigating this issue: some psychiatrists are qualified to diagnose cognitive issues/psychoeducational issues, most are not but they can refer you to an appropriate provider (usually a psychoeducational psychologist) for testing and consult. If you can afford it or your insurance will pay for it, it is worth it even later in life.
This book probably WON'T help with your issue: this book discusses different methods of reading, and changing your method will change your processing of the material, which may alter your memory of the material, it does not help with working memory. It will teach you how to find the main points, but that may not be enough if you have a memory issue.
That said, book club members often take notes as they go along and bring them to group: if you keep a book journal, know how to analyse such things and write them down as they occur to you (with an extra "download" or review when you finish the book), you will have more than enough material to describe and discuss. Going over notes will also strengthen your memory, and this book will teach you to take notes.
Look at the cover, probably glance at the blurb; run your eye down the table of contents, perhaps; possibly rifle through the book... then plunge right in into Chapter One.
Wrong! According to Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren, the authors of How to Read a Book.
According to them, this is only the first level of reading, called “Elementary” reading: and this is the only level the majority of readers in this world have reached. They posit three more levels: “Inspe ...more
How To Read A Book:
(This is an outline of part of Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren’s excellent book, "How To Read A Book." The outline takes one up to the third level of reading - analytical reading. There is a fourth level, syntopical reading, but most of the intended readers of this outline, and your every day reader, does not re ...more
It focuses mainly on reading expositional, rather than imaginative material. It was written in 1940, and revised in 1972, though it looks and feels more like a 40s book.
I read it in the hope of becoming a more analytical reader who could go on to write more coherent, concise, and original reviews. It didn’t help.
This may once have been a good book. Had I read it as an undergraduate, I may even have found bits of it slightly useful. As a middle-aged fiction reader in th ...more
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. ...more
Basically, How to Read a Book is a practical book. It aims to help people become intelligent readers. To read intelligently means to read actively. To read actively means to r ...more
The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.
I had a lot of fun holding this book upside-down on the subway with a puzzled look on my face.
For much of his remarkably long life, Mortimer Adler was the leading proponent of the ‘Great Books’ paradigm of education. Under his leadership, the Encyclopedia Britannica published the 54-volume Great Books of the Western World (1952) as well as the Gateway to the Great Books (1963)—which, cons ...more
I have decided that I am not going to summarize the rules enunciated in this book. Instead I would keep my review short.
In the first chapter the authors have mentioned that “…… this book is about the art of reading for the sake of increased understanding.” The authors have clearly stated that the book intends to help people understand e ...more
Most important thing about the book--while there are many useful books you will read over the course of you ...more
so writes Mortimer Adler in his first sentence.
I stopped reading this book over MD (that's 1500) days ago. Hope no one was waiting for the review. Not likely, I know.
Mortimer Adler (1902-2001) published this book in the early days of 1940. Before the U.S. had entered WW II. I guess at that point Americans were still concerned about how they should be reading books. (Adler, working at the University of Chicago, was one of the ...more
I have been reading this book very slowly, on and off, the past two months, trying to have enough time to concentrate, focus, be analytical, critical and syntopical.
This pedagogical work is so comprehensive, it will take forever to summarize the content. In short, this book is a must-read for any serious reader of the GREAT BOOKS of all times.
It can be regarded as a manual for lecturers/teachers/reviewers, or anybody who needs to discuss a serious book. Book clubs comes to mind here for those ...more
Ever since I first learned of the book's existence I understood that it was a book that I really SHOULD read. And I had an intention to read it. A desire to read it. And yet, I never read it. I did lots of other things that could have gone without doing. So, it really wasn't a matter of time. Celebrities got fat a ...more
Thank God I've gained a few insights from this: the usefulness of inspectional reading and how to read poetry (which consists of reading it as fast as you can and rereading it aloud). Some thoughts on syntopical reading are somewhat interesting for anyone writing dissertations and theses, but not really for the average reader without a Ph.D. to pursue.
I thank God for the insights because otherwise I would've wasted all my time. I found 90% of the information simply ...more
Some important points I gleaned:
- Not all books are worth reading well. Some are only worthy of a cursory read-through.
- A good book should mov ...more
first revi ...more
Sometimes, the most obvious is not tha ...more
Too much analysis might not be suitable for readers who read works for pleasure. Ideal for students of literature (mainly non-fiction readers).
This practical guide is about the Art of Reading. Highly recommended for readers who prefer quality over quantity.
First of all, who would be so presumptuous as to advise fellow adults on how to read--a skill notionally possessed by everyone who's made it through public school? Well, Mortimer J. Adler, philosopher, longtime editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and moving force behind the Britannica Great Books of the Western World series; and Charles Van Doren, Adler's ...more
One idea from the book that I still recall 30 years later is his discussion about teachers, dead and alive. Books were the dead teachers, but teachers nonetheless. And as a result of the published work, one could get to know the teacher if the work was of good quality and ...more
As a life-long reader, I admit that I scoffed at the title. My children did too, along with complete strangers (I had more people approach me about this book than any other I have ever read). The reaction was always the same: a mixed incredulity that a person should read a book about how to read a book. Doesn ...more
Much of what Adler discusses is obvious but like with all things we sometimes get lazy and ignore the fundamentals.
I love how Mort says that in the history of man only ab ...more
In short, this book should provide scholarly ways of reading toward true readers in universities and beyond. Highly recommended to all scholars who love reading, it will change your reading life for ever.
Just like the title, this book is a practical book of how one should read a book. In the beginning, the author explain the stages of reading and later introduces the steps to a better way of reading starting from the title of a book till the appendixes and what one can extract out of them. He also provides guidance of how to read certain genre or type of reading material in later chapters. In the end, he gives the steps for reading a few books of the same topic.
I'd say this is a MUST r...more
|why book bout read book hard book to read?||1||23||Nov 20, 2018 02:16PM|
|Are there any other books for learning or any other skill that has the same rigour or similarity to Adler's book?||1||34||Apr 13, 2018 06:52PM|
|What is one book you've read so far this quarter that we ALL should read?||2||53||Oct 08, 2015 05:47PM|
|What is your personal reading-style?||3||96||Jun 06, 2014 08:46AM|
|The Well-Trained ...: How Many of You Actually Read a Book 3-4 times?||1||92||Oct 07, 2012 08:45AM|
|The Well-Trained ...: Preface||1||23||Jul 09, 2012 07:40PM|
Adler was born in N ...more
1. Homer – Iliad, Odyssey
2. The Old Testament
3. Aeschylus – Tragedies
4. Sophocles – Tragedies
5. Herodotus – Histories
6. Euripides – Tragedies
7. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War
8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings
9. Aristophanes – Comedies
10. Plato – Dialogues
11. Aristotle – Works
12. Epicurus – Letter to Herodotus; Letter to Menoecus
13. Euclid – Elements
14. Archimedes – Works
15. Apollonius of Perga – Conic Sections
16. Cicero – Works
17. Lucretius – On the Nature of Things
18. Virgil – Works
19. Horace – Works
20. Livy – History of Rome
21. Ovid – Works
22. Plutarch – Parallel Lives; Moralia
23. Tacitus – Histories; Annals; Agricola Germania
24. Nicomachus of Gerasa – Introduction to Arithmetic
25. Epictetus – Discourses; Encheiridion
26. Ptolemy – Almagest
27. Lucian – Works
28. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
29. Galen – On the Natural Faculties
30. The New Testament
31. Plotinus – The Enneads
32. St. Augustine – On the Teacher; Confessions; City of God; On Christian Doctrine
33. The Song of Roland
34. The Nibelungenlied
35. The Saga of Burnt Njál
36. St. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologica
37. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy;The New Life; On Monarchy
38. Geoffrey Chaucer – Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury Tales
39. Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks
40. Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince; Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
41. Desiderius Erasmus – The Praise of Folly
42. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
43. Thomas More – Utopia
44. Martin Luther – Table Talk; Three Treatises
45. François Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel
46. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion
47. Michel de Montaigne – Essays
48. William Gilbert – On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
49. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote
50. Edmund Spenser – Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
51. Francis Bacon – Essays; Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum, New Atlantis
52. William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays
53. Galileo Galilei – Starry Messenger; Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences
54. Johannes Kepler – Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; Concerning the Harmonies of the World
55. William Harvey – On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals
56. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan
57. René Descartes – Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Geometry; Meditations on First Philosophy
58. John Milton – Works
59. Molière – Comedies
60. Blaise Pascal – The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises
61. Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light
62. Benedict de Spinoza – Ethics
63. John Locke – Letter Concerning Toleration; Of Civil Government; Essay Concerning Human Understanding;Thoughts Concerning Education
64. Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies
65. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
66. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – Discourse on Metaphysics; New Essays Concerning Human Understanding;Monadology
67. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe
68. Jonathan Swift – A Tale of a Tub; Journal to Stella; Gulliver's Travels; A Modest Proposal
69. William Congreve – The Way of the World
70. George Berkeley – Principles of Human Knowledge
71. Alexander Pope – Essay on Criticism; Rape of the Lock; Essay on Man
72. Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu – Persian Letters; Spirit of Laws
73. Voltaire – Letters on the English; Candide; Philosophical Dictionary
74. Henry Fielding – Joseph Andrews; Tom Jones
75. Samuel Johnson – The Vanity of Human Wishes; Dictionary; Rasselas; The Lives of the Poets”