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How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to…
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How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (edició 1972)

de Mortimer J. Adler (Autor)

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7,415741,179 (3.99)Cap
Investigates the art of reading by examining each aspect of reading, problems encountered, and tells how to combat them.
Títol:How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading
Autors:Mortimer J. Adler (Autor)
Informació:Touchstone (1972), Edition: Revised, 426 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca

Informació de l'obra

How to Read a Book, Revised and Updated Edition de Mortimer J. Adler (Author)

Afegit fa poc perfatiko, NHug2030, MayaGirl, YPlfl, JoeFieldWriter, StrayerUni, a.roby, biblioteca privada, lfsmith99, Sommesoldier
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"How To Read A Book", a classic originally published in 1940. My 7-year-old grandson, Cade, laughed at this book, "I don't get it. How can you read this book if you don't know how to read?" Haha...he's so clever!

This type of learning to read is just the reverse of discerning what books to read and reference when writing research papers. I learned a lot of this stuff in high school English class and LOVED it. It was definitely better taught hands on and in an orderly process than reading about it. But, I read this book anyway just to see if I was missing anything.

The main point when reading books you want to learn from, is not to be a lazy reader. You must be interactive with the book. Locating important key words and phrases and making sure you understand their meaning by marking it, looking words up, note the context it's used in the sentence. You must be able to determine if all their data collected to validate the author's point of view is actual facts (from what sources) or simply biased opinions. If it's part of the authors knowledge base, is that knowledge base correct or skewed? You must ask questions for the meaning of passages, or you cannot expect to learn any new insights from it, and to know what the arguments and solutions are and their meaning. To test yourself for understanding, rewrite the proposition (the main point) of a sentence or paragraph in your own words without using any of the author's words.

I loved the first half of this book on how to read a single expository book analytically. It gets a strong 4-stars. The second half of the book on how to read other types of books, such as literary books, novels, poetry, philosophy, social sciences, etc…, gets a strong 1-star. I couldn’t understand a darn thing I was reading, and they seemed to repeat themselves everywhere, adding to the length of the book. So, overall rating is about 3-stars.
**spoilers below**
There are 3 purposes for reading: entertainment, information and understanding. All three of these will determine HOW you read. For example, I'm reading this book really slow because I want to gain more than just information to store. I want insight on how I can literally be a better reader.

The author goes over four different levels of reading:

1. ELEMENTARY READING - just learning words and putting them together without any real meaning. You should see "reading readiness" by age 6 or 7, if not, that child may need extra help. Reading readiness involves physical (good vision and hearing), intellectual (remembers entire words and letters), language (speaks clearly and uses several sentences in correct order), and personal (work with other kids, attention span, and can follow directions). Delaying the reading experience is better than jumping the gun and pushing that child into a reading experience he is not ready for. This could turn that child off from reading for the rest of his life. It's okay to pick up reading at his own pace, as long as he is continuing to learn. By 4th grade, your child should be reading street and traffic signs, business signs, picture captions, etc... By 8th, 9th and 10th grade, your child should be able to read almost anything and mature enough to do high school work. By graduating high school, your child should have reached the analytical reading level before entering college or to be able to research and pursue his own interests in life. If they are more than just literate readers and have become "competent" readers, then they have reached the Elementary Reading stage successfully.

2. INSPECTIONAL READING - skimming over the book: the title, preface, the author's blurb, the table of contents and the index (Amazon now usually makes this available to view before purchasing any book) to determine what kind of book it is in a limited amount of time, read first and last couple of pages of the book and a couple of paragraph's in the chapters that may be relevant to you. When reading expository works, read through the entire book superficially. Then, go back and dissect it. [NOTES: This is much like when reading the Bible. I read the full chapter, then follow the study guide to dissect each verse.] And then there's "speed reading". I don't like to force this. Everyone reads different types of books at different speeds. I read mindless novels A LOT faster than expository works. I read the most horrible, awful books superfast, mainly skimming over words...just to say I at least looked at the words...and just to finish the ghastly book, and not even knowing what the heck I read. Very rare for me to actually do this. I know I for sure did this with "Absalom, Absalom" by William Faulkner. Ugh!

HOW TO MAKE A BOOK YOUR OWN, p. 48-51: The "art" of reading is demanding. You have to ask questions of the book, and with a pencil write and answer those questions : 1) What is the book about? 2) What is being said in detail, and how? (Main ideas, assertions, arguments) 3) Is the book true, in whole or part? (You decide) 4) What of it? (Did it enlighten you with knowledge? Do you need to seek more? What is implied?) You bought the book, mark it up and make it yours.

3. ANALYTICAL READING - a complete reading of a book given an unlimited amount of time, marking and highlighting and asking questions of the book. This level of reading is strictly for the sake of understanding. [NOTE: This is my favorite level of reading when it pertains to gardening, genealogical history, learning a new hobby, and reading up on natural health or health issues. I'm very analytical and active with these books, marking notes, highlighting, looking up words in a dictionary. I want to understand what I'm reading.] To answer the question: What is the book about as a whole, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Learn to classify expositorial books - Practical (how-to, should do and should not do, good, bad, ought to...medical, gardening, engineering, economics,) vs. Theoretical (states facts but tries to convince you something is true, and here is a way to make them better...psychology, philosophy, science, history and sometimes political books)

Step 2. If you cannot explain what the book is about (its plot or theme) in just a few words, or a few sentences, then you haven't fully grasped the meaning of the book.

NOTE: Strive to do this with EVERY book, whether novel or expository book. This will come in handy for my book reviews on Goodreads cause I'm so long winded. Remember that a book is something different to each reader, so don't go comparing my reviews with others.

Step 3. Identify the major parts of the book, as in an outline.

Step 4. Can you state the main question the expository book tries to answer?

In any case, the reader has the last say by way of critiquing. If you have not been convinced of the material, then you should present material to counter why you disagree. Don't just disagree and insult. "Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider." Francis Bacon. And then there are those who read just to doubt or read just to rip apart.

NOTE: What comes to mind here, in the year 2021, are political books. Lately, I have run across liberal individuals who are not even reading, but literally bashing conservative authors personally and trashing their name instead of reviewing the book. I have since deleted at least four of my Goodreads friends who "liked" a particular individual's person bashing review that wasn't focused on the book at all. I mean, after all, what is their own opinion now worth?

Reviews should at least be respectful. It does a reader well to live by the code of etiquette: be polite, but be effective when talking back (reviewing). But, know that you are not a "true" critic until you fully listen, or have read, and understand the content. To rate the book on lack of understanding, first be sure to give it your all. It will usually be the reader's fault for not understanding, and it is okay and preferable to state so in this case.

"Be as prepared to agree as to disagree." Your decision should be based on only one consideration - the facts and the truth about the author's case. Agree with the author when you see a point, and don't hesitate to disagree when you don't see their point, but give your grounds for disagreeing, whether it be knowledge (with current evidence) or personal opinion. First, make sure it isn't a misunderstanding, then determine between genuine knowledge or mere opinion. The problem we are having today in conversations regarding politics is perfectly stated on page 148-49: “The trouble is that many people disregard disagreement as unrelated to as either teaching or being taught. They think that everything is just a matter of opinion. I have mine, and you have yours...On such a view, communication can not be profitable if the profit to be gained is an increase in knowledge. Conversation is hardly better than a ping pong game of opposed opinions, a game in which no one keeps score, no one wins, and everyone is satisfied because he does not lose- that is, he ends up holding the same opinions he started with.” If the reader does not know or value the difference between statements of knowledge and flat out expression of opinion, then he is not reading to learn. He is judging the author, not the book, itself.

When disagreeing with an author, specify why: 1) The author is uninformed, 2) The author is misinformed, 3) The author is illogical and not cohesive, or 4) The author's analysis is incomplete. Be specific about what exactly you disagree with AND support your point with specifics. You must be able to argue the truth.

4. SYNTOPICAL READING - most complex level of reading and usually involves the reading of other material, comparing, coming to a conclusion, whether through various sources or even your own conclusion not mentioned. This is research. [NOTE: At times, I do go here when it comes to natural health.]

I'm a life-time learner type person, always reading and yearning to learn more about anything really. This book is for people like me. But, if are a English student, it would actually be better to learn from an English teacher. And if you are an English teacher, then this is a must read so you can teach your students better reading habits of expository works. Also, if you are a writer, you will definitely want to read this book. It is the reverse of writing and provides all the steps in how to choose a book, how to scan a book for relevancy, how to properly agree or disagree with an author.

A well-read person is NOT the one who has read the most books. A well-read person is one who has applied all the principles of analytical reading, and has complete understanding of the subject or subjects of interest and the meaning the author has written. A good student often becomes a teacher, and a good reader often becomes a writer, and not always in the "professional" sense, but as in the sharing of information with others.

Special note to remember from page 339: "You will not improve as a reader if all you read are books that are well within your capacity. You must tackle books that are beyond you, or, as we have said, books that are over your head. Only books of that sort will make you stretch your mind. And unless you stretch, you will not learn."

But, most importantly, learning to read well (actively), keeps our minds alive. Like the muscles, over time, the mind can atrophy, if not used. ( )
1 vota MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
  pw0327 | Aug 26, 2023 |
✒️ Overall a useful book that covers its purpose well, but certainly also fails to fully equip us to live our readers’ lives properly. The good is mostly about providing an articulate method to extract the substance of an argumentative text, be it an essay, a philosophical treatise or a scientific book. But there are many other facets of reading that are not addressed or lightly handled : fiction, the very (physical) act of reading, how to choose readings, note taking, etc. The tips and tricks about reading the different types of texts (history, mathematics, etc.) were also short and not very convincing. One could wonder why four hundred pages were necessary to help us track arguments and propositions in a nonfiction book, which is the only thing this book does really well. The bibliography of the Western World must read (provided in Appendix) was a good reference, though.

Strong points
1. A clear and articulate method for analytical reading
2. Addressing the issue of syntopical reading quite well
3. Spurs the readers to aim at top quality in their reading

Weak points
1. Does not cover many issues about reading with sufficient depth
2. A lot is dedicated to analytical reading of argumentative texts, but is that useful?
3. Pompous style ( )
  corporate_clone | Feb 5, 2023 |
A good book about how to read for real learning and understanding. Applies primarily to non-fiction books, and will be especially useful for serious readers, researchers, and academics. You'll learn:
• The difference between reading for information vs reading for enlightenment.
• The 4 key questions you must habitually answer when reading any book, and how to mark a book as you read.
• A step-by-step guide to master 4 progressive levels of reading: elementary reading, inspectional reading, analytical reading, and syntopical reading. These allow you to fully understand a book, and learn a complex topic.
• How to read different types of books or material, including practical books, imaginative literature, history, math/science, philosophy and social science books.

Book summary at: ( )
  AngelaLamHF | Oct 28, 2022 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Adler, Mortimer J.Autorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Doren, Charles VanAutorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
Van Doran, CharlesAutorautor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
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How to Read a Book was originally published in the early months of 1940.
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Please distinguish Mortimer J. Adler's later Revised and Updated Edition co-authored with Charles Van Doren, How to Read a Book: The Classic Best-Selling Guide to Reading Books and Accessing Information (1972), from his original work, How to Read a Book: The Art of Getting a Liberal Education (1940). See Wikipedia on How to Read a Book.
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Investigates the art of reading by examining each aspect of reading, problems encountered, and tells how to combat them.

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