How to Read a Book

How to Read a Book

4.4 24
by Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren, Edward Holland

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How to Read a Book, originally published in 1940, has become a rare phenomenon, a living classic. It is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader. And now it has been completely rewritten and updated.

You are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them -- from elementary reading, through

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How to Read a Book, originally published in 1940, has become a rare phenomenon, a living classic. It is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader. And now it has been completely rewritten and updated.

You are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them -- from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading, you learn how to pigeonhole a book, X-ray it, extract the author's message, criticize. You are taught the different reading techniques for reading practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science.

Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests whereby you can measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension and speed.

Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.56(d)

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How to Read a Book 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Lolzy More than 1 year ago
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.
clintwbrooks More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my desire to get the most out of the Great Books, I came across this gem in my research. While many of the things listed in this book are things I already do, I also learned new approaches and refined my existing approaches to reading analytically. Despite it being published in 1972, it remains relevant and a great tool for reviewing, revising and improving reading skills.
newmodelthirteen More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this book from the public library, and I found it very useful. My daughter was not good at reading, and she always found it boring. Then I told her how to read books according to this book. She gradually grasps the key methods of reading, and becomes interested in it. I registered Beestar online reading programs for her, so she can practise her skills every week. Wendy
ijohnson250 More than 1 year ago
outstanding for enhancing all there is to know about reading
AdamZ1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Nice,,,, Great...!
DJBurge More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest books on reading that has ever been or will be written. This book will make you smarter...period.
dried_squid More than 1 year ago
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?
namah00 More than 1 year ago
I am a forgein personto teh USA and I am trying to understand the educationsystem over here so I can help my child. We did not have liturature study where I am from so this has helped me understand things to be able to help my child with her school work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!