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How to Read Slowly
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How to Read Slowly

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  277 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Established in 1968, the Wheaton Literary Series provides insightful books for the thoughtful reader, inspiring imagination, and reflection. These beautifully produced volumes feature prose and poetry of high literary, academic, and artistic merit, written by and about Christian artists of significant stature.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 7th 2000 by Shaw Books (first published 1978)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  277 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 2011
I love this book! What's not to love in a book about reading? The author's purpose is to help us read better for greater comprehension. He says "Our goal in reading carefully is not only to understand what is being said explicitly but to see why it is being said. We want to learn to recognize the world views of writers and speakers, and thus to know what their basic assumptions about life really are. It will help us decide what kind of attention to pay to their comments or proposals no matter ho ...more
Hannah Mead
3.5. Liked but not loved. Appreciated the whole 'reading world-viewishly' thing though - definitely something very important to keep in mind as a Christian reader! ...more
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would have finished this book sooner if not for three things that all contribute to why I read this book in the first place: I want to get better at helping my students understand what they can do to read, what happens when they read, why intelligent people choose to value reading on an individual and cultural level, and how to make reading a skill and an adventure not a task or an obligation.

The First Thing: My Daughters (or, No Man is That Desert Island Where You are Marooned with Only the B
Jacob Self
May 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
In the vein of Mortimer Adler's "How to Read a Book," world view expert and professor of English and literature, James Sire has written an engaging and practical book on reading comprehension. The title is somewhat of a misnomer since the book has nothing to do with the actual speed of reading but rather the process of comprehending what we read. He covers the genres of non-fiction, poetry, and fiction with especially helpful advice on how to read them. The last chapters are dedicated to the di ...more
Josue Manriquez
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Admittedly, I sped through this book.

I focused on sections that I believe were important to the main message of the book, and that I believe are more applicable to my life at this moment.

Over all, it's a good book on how to read!

G.M. Burrow
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary
Read this (ahem) very fast.
ღ Ruqs ღ
Mar 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
ew this book
Luke Miller
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading
Read this right after I finished reading "How to Read a Book" (Adler). It covers a little bit of the same ground, but mostly, it provides the marks of distinctively Christian reading. This a great book for Christians who read (which should be all Christians, right?), especially if they are reading broadly (periodicals, fiction, non-fiction, etc.). ...more
Angie Libert
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: scholar
The title of this book alone intrigued me. So often in our society it is reading fast that people strive for, but the longer I am a reader, the more I realize that reading slowly is the true key to literature. And so I was looking forward to this book based simply on the title, not knowing where it was going to lead.

Interestingly enough, the books overall aim is to teach us to read worldview-ish. I have just recently cued into this new key in reading, so I loved what this book presented.

The boo
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With both instruction and example, Sire shows how to detect an author’s world view, how to read “between the lines” while not “inventing or imagining what is not really there” (p. 42), how to “track the flow” of author’s argument or reasoning process. He has a whole chapter on poetry, another on reading fiction, another on reading in context (not imprinting our current way of thinking on older books, but understanding the context in which they were written). He gives tips for how to read, what t ...more
Kim Voss
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
I read this book before I went to college. I don't know how this book ended up on my bookshelf, but there is was and one day I opened it up and wow, my mind just opened up! Sire divides writing by how to read non-fiction, fiction, poetry, etc., all with a Christian mindset. It prepared me to understand how to read all kinds of writing. ...more
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: critical-reading
An excellent introduction to critical reading. Clear, concise, well written. The chapter on poetry is indispensable if you want to get the best out of a poem. Reads like a novel, too. If you like books about books, definitely go and get it.
Apr 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
Short, well written, very thoughtful. Highly recommended if one wants to learn how to read with understanding the various forms of writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry) or analyze a book for its worldview. Everyone should read this book.
Don Incognito
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I must need to re-read this book, because I admit I didn't get very much out of it. It doesn't offer any sort of revelatory techniques (that I noticed) for reading for greater comprehension, or relate slow reading to that. There's little that I didn't already understand as someone with a B.A. in literature.

The only information notably useful to me was the author's recommended reading list. Although I'm familiar with most or all of his titles, he mentions a book I'd never heard of titled Good Rea
Stan Sorensen
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good overview for keeping an eye open to reading widely and analyzing the underlying world view. Also gives tips on reading different genres such as non-fiction, poetry, fiction, etc. What I appreciated the most was his suggestions for reading and a possible reading plan. These need to be updated, but this book has definitely pushed me to read more widely and get back to books I should have read earlier in life. It's not too late to begin NOW. ...more
Molly- The Modern Homeschooler
It’s was ok. Not really worth my time to read it. It should have been titled “thinking with discernment” or “critical thinking”. If you already have a modicum of critical thinking when reading books, then you don’t need to read this. However, if you’ve never studied or have been taught how to be discerning and think critically than this would be a book for you.
Esteban Villarreal
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
”Christians, of all people, should reflect the mind of their Maker. Learning to read well is a step toward loving God with your mind.”
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Insightful and interesting
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fine, short, overview of how to read various genres and how to extract an author's worldview based on their work. Gives some suggestions of lists of "good books" that I may use in the future.

My only real disappointment is that I thought this would be a book teaching reflection on and retention of books' main points (synthesis) rather than extraction of the worldview and meaning behind the text (analysis). If you're looking for a book on analysis, however, this is a good one.
Dawn Roberts
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Previewing this for dd before she tackles a David Quine worldview study for 7-8th grade. I am somewhat intimidated at the beginning...If I am having trouble with this, how will my 12 yo do? Yet Sire's point is that good readers often re-read things, and wrestling with a piece of writing is part of the experience, not a sign of instant failure. As a Christian I tend to get depressed reading too much worldview stuff. I recognize the world's rebellion against God and I prefer not to drown myself in ...more
This work explains how to figure out what a writer's worldview is via his or her writings. A worldview, he says, is "a map of reality," "a mental model of the world." "It organizes our knowledge and give us a place from which to argue." (14) We act on it, he says, and when reality doesn't fit it, we either adjust it or dismiss that reality as not reflecting things the way they really are.

Our worldview, he says, include these basic concepts:
1) ultimate reality: what it is / our notion of God
2) w
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I try to re-read this book once every four, or five, years because the advice about approaching reading and analyzing what you read is so valuable and because I have not mastered (CANNOT, more like!) the art of reading carefully and critically, I need continuous education. Once of the best features about this book, which can and should be read by everyone from about age 12 and up, is that I can pick a chapter about the genre in question and can (dare I say) quickly refresh myself before approach ...more
Nancy Bandusky
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
In our society where more is better, the author encourages people to change their quantity of books read ("more" numbers) for a better understanding of what they've read and where the author/reader are coming from ("more" comprehension).

The author includes examples and techniques of how reading slowly and re-reading - all while thinking - will help the reader get to the meat of the material or discover the lack thereof.

The choice is there - quantity or quality.

One technique to employ that I know
Carissa Norris
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on learning to read! His focus is not just on reading comprehension but reading with a worldview framework, that is, reading to understand what the author is trying to say not just what we think he is saying. His examples are solid and easy to follow. This book will increase your reading comprehension ten fold!
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this again; this time to preview it before giving it to my daughter as assigned reading for her homeschooling. This book builds on, and should therefore be read after The Universe Next Door and is a good book to read if you want to start a foundation of critical reading with an eye for the worldview of the author.
We have read portions of this for Caitlin's Worldviews study (her H.S. curriculum). I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the entire book--maybe this summer I'll have time. (that is always my dream!) ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
One to read again! Along with "The Universe Next Door", this book has helped me to begin to read and understand different perspectives. Like Adler's "How to read a book", it offers the reader insight into reading for understanding and not just information or pleasure (although both result). ...more
Sheila Thoburn
Mar 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Helpful in learning how to comb a book, either fiction or non, for perspective and ideas. Great teaching tool.
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Read this on a friend's recommendation for my grad students and I thought it was a great Christian approach to literature. My ninth-grade son wasn't as excited about it :( ...more
Looks like "How to Read A Book" by Mortimer Adler which we have been using for several terms in school. I look forward to how they compare. ...more
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James W. Sire was a Christian author, speaker, and former editor for InterVarsity Press.

Sire was an officer in the Army, a college professor of English literature, philosophy and theology, the chief editor of InterVarsity Press, a lecturer at over two hundred universities around the world and the author of twenty books on literature, philosophy and the Christian faith. His book The Universe Next D

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