How to Read a Book

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

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User Review  - dham340 - LibraryThing

This book deserves a detailed review but, I think the best review I could give it is this: Oh how I wish I had read this when I was 18! Highly recommended. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mirandalg14 - LibraryThing

The information was good, but it was obvious that it was written in a time when people were more patient in the way information was presented. It was really dry and I couldn't stay focused on what I was reading. Read full review

All 16 reviews »

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
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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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