How to Read a Book

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 10, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 426 pages
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.

A CNN Book of the Week: “Explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It's masterfully done.” –Farheed Zakaria

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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lachlanp - LibraryThing

I just went through this book for a second time. I managed to get further... Note I skimmed the whole book, then more completely read the inspectional, analytical, and syntopical sections. I skipped ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

This book was originally published in 1940 by Adler and updated in 1972 with the help of Van Doren. At least when in comes to their approach to reading nonfiction, a more apt title might be “How to ... Read full review

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Contents

Reading
11
Stages of Learning to Read 24 Stages and Levels
26
Systematic Skimming or Pre
41
How to Be a Demanding Reader
45
PART
57
The Importance of Classifying Books 60 What
70
Stating the Unity of a Book 78
78
The Reciprocal Arts of Reading and Writ
94
PART THREE
189
How to Read Imaginative Literature
203
Suggestions for Reading Stories Plays and Poems
215
How to Read History
234
How to Read Science and Mathematics
255
How to Read Philosophy
270
How to Read Social Science
296
PART FOUR
305

Words vs Terms 96 Finding the Key Words 100
100
Technical Words and Special Vocabularies 103 Find
106
Determining an Authors Message
114
Sentences vs Propositions 117 Finding the Key Sen
136
Agreeing or Disagreeing with an Author
152
Aids to Reading
168
Reading and the Growth of the Mind
337
Appendix A A Recommended Reading List
347
Appendix B Exercises and Tests at the Four Levels
363
Index
421
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Dr. Mortimer J. Adler was Chairman of the Board of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, Honorary Trustee of the Aspen Institute, and authored more than fifty books. He died in 2001.

Dr. Charles Van Doren earned advanced degrees in both literature and mathematics from Columbia University, where he later taught English and was the Assistant Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research. He also worked for Encyclopedia Britannica in Chicago.

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