Customer Reviews for

How to Read a Book

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A prequel to all books

    This book is a must read for anyone who is serious about his/her reading. The authors offer some perceptive tips, suggestions and ideas that are aimed at helping the average person imporve his/her reading skill. This is a book for graduate students who need the best 'how to' techniques to help them get the most out of their reading. This is also a book for the serious reader who is not content with turning page after page - going through the mechanical motions of reading. This is a book for anyone who believes that reading a book is a small life-changing exercise.
    The authors begin by distinguishing between 4 levels of reading and provide techniques and examples for each level. What I found to be especially interesting are the chapters on how to read the different subjects: The authors introduce a single methodolgy for effective reading and then proceed to customize it for reading books on the sciences, philosophy, literature, fiction, etc.

    Even if you consider yourself an effective reader, you'll be surprised at some of the insights that you will receive from this book. This is an excellent book, well written and well researched and it should be on every reader's shelf.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    Adler is an incredibly effective writer whose work not only teaches but motivates.

    Mortimer J. Adler goes above and beyond; giving clear and concise instruction on reading techniques. At the same time, he urges his readers to not only follow the guidelines he proposes, but to push their own boundaries and expand their abilities to eventually become professionals in the art of reading. Adler has this peculiar way to transform a seemingly boring subject into what the readers will eventually see to be an interesting field of study. Adler's great achievement in "How To Read A Book" is to reveal this hidden world where the ideas of authors and the language they use converge, and to provide us with the tools to decipher what the true meaning of an author's message is.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Essential reading for any reading enthusiast

    Within the first few pages, my view of reading was changed - not dramatically, but certainly changed. This is a book I recommend to anyone who enjoys reading; and learning, for that matter. Though the title suggests the material is elementary, and the concept may seem foolish to many, I assure you, this book is essential if you are an avid reader. It will change the way you read, think about reading, and learn in general. I recommend it highly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2013

    outstanding for enhancing all there is to know about reading

    outstanding for enhancing all there is to know about reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I read this book when I was twenty and I learned more about how

    I read this book when I was twenty and I learned more about how to read from it than I had ever learned in high school, or for that matter, college. Since then I've returned to it again and again, which I will continue to do until I master reading, which is probably a lifetime goal, though this book certainly increases the odds I'll get there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    more than facts

    Today there is much uncertainty. Too many facts.


    I remember an Adler example of fact and idea from a TV show. He pointed to a telephone book and attributed it with tens of thousands of facts, but not one idea.


    Many of his examples are elegant. Chapter 9 Determining an Author's Message begins "Not only coming to terms but also making propositions occurs among traders as well as in the world of books. What a buyer or seller means by a proposition is some sort of proposal, some sort of offer or acceptance." Interesting. Such a deal. A math guy might picture a homomorphism.


    Many threads are savory. In Chapter 18 How to Read Philosophy, he begins 'Children ask magnificent questions. "Why are people?"' The second paragraph begins "The child is a natural questioner." The third paragraph ends "It is easy enough to learn answers. But to develop actively, inquisitive minds, alive with real questions, profound questions - that is another story." As an adult, looking back, I know I have sometimes begun with the wrong question.


    This is the revised edition. Makes sense to me. I need to read better, especially today when there is so much truth. Guess when I can understand more, and then arrive at belief, it may be just as good as truth.

    Thinking out of the box?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2005

    THIS BOOK SAVED MY MARRIAGE

    Like, I knew how to read a book before, and sliding through topics here and there, and i'd have someone bantering me about takin the garbage out, and i couldn't focus that well, ugh! very annoying. This book helped me put everything into perspective, and I can grab all topics, instead of being left behind, and feeling inadequit. My marriage got better, because of the communication, and I started to listen to her in a different way, and never strayed from the conversation at hand, with the little thoughts of, ...oh, i have to get my laundry, or... wow, i need to mow the lawn. Now, I'm focused, I stay on track, and we talk more better. Thank you for writing this book! It's DEFINATELY, worth the read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2003

    Life Changing Book

    In my school days, I would have regarded the suggestions in this book to be cheats or shortcuts, mainly because no one would have taken the time to explain why these tools are so effective (or necessary). Although I read this book after graduating college in 1991, it has boosted my reading skills and confidence to Doctoral levels. As a book, I woould only give it 3 stars. The language has a stilted, 1930's-style formality about it that proves to be a little plodding. However, the author has made extensive use of metaphors (especially baseball) to explain concepts. And his key points are clearly memorable. But the book gets 5 stars for its live changing ability. If you or someone you know is having difficulty understanding their classwork, this book could easily be THE SOLUTION. Don't wait, buy now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    Nice,,,, Great...!

    Nice,,,, Great...!

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  • Posted November 22, 2013

    Essential.

    Once upon a time this was required reading for 11th or 12th grade, and it should be once again. Students who read Adler's gem find themselves far ahead of their peers in reading, analyzing and understanding the written word (including mathematics), and how to apply his wisdom to their own writing. If you have a teenager or college student buy it for them and make sure it doesn't just sit on the shelf. Shoot, read it yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Day by day

    Day after day

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2012

    highly recommended

    very good book :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2005

    Should Be Required Reading for a College Prep.

    One of the greatest books on reading that has ever been or will be written. This book will make you smarter...period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    Amazing book!!! Very useful!!!

    I would recommend this book for all those who enjoy reading, as well as those who sometimes find themselves reading and reading, but can't get past the basic, topical message.....this book helps you get past the surface, on to what a book is really about, it gives you simple quidelines to follow, as well as, some more time consuming steps, but it is all worthwhile and indispensable!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 28, 2011

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    Posted June 11, 2011

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted May 19, 2010

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    Posted May 11, 2009

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    Posted October 13, 2013

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