How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren
Paperback: 426 pages
Publisher: Touchstone; Revised edition (August 15, 1972)
With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material.
Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text.
Also included is instruction in the different techniques that work best for reading particular genres, such as practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science works.
Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests you can use measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.
How to Read a Book – Jeremy Anderberg
“1. Open book.
2. Read words.
3. Close book.
4. Move on to next book.
Reading a book seems like a pretty straightforward task, doesn’t it? And in some cases, it is. If you’re reading purely for entertainment or leisure, it certainly can be that easy. There’s another kind of reading, though, in which we at least attempt to glean something of value from the book in our hands (whether in paper or tablet form). In that instance, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not as simple as opening the book and reading the words.” read more…
How to Read a Book: The Rules for Analytical Reading – Justin Taylor
“Last night I pulled off my shelf Mortimer Adler’s classic, How to Read a Book. It’s been several years since I worked through the book, but a review of the underlining and written notes testify to how much it influenced me. I’ll share in a separate post a particular section that has marked me indelibly.” read more…
How to Read a Book – Bob Passantino
“When I first read the title of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book, I wondered what book I needed to read to learn how to read How to Read a Book! All kidding aside, far from teaching basic reading skills, Adler was, instead, interested in helping people learn how to get the most out of what they read and how to know in advance how helpful a given book will be. As book review editor, I regularly follow Adler’s advice.” read more…