Category Archives: Reading – Adler & van Doren – How to Read a Book

de lectio

Justin Taylor has just posted a couple of thoughts on Mortimer Adler’s How To Read A Book. How to Read a Book: The Rules for Analytical Reading and Can You Say It in Your Own Words? (both 27 Jan 2009). I read the first half of the book last year, so this is a timely reminder for me of some of the things I learned. I’m still too eager to complete a book when I start, but I think the one thing Adler has taught me is to slow down and consider what I’m reading. Writing reflections on what I’m reading certainly helps get a handle on the topic under discussion. I’ve got a huge pile of scribbled notes on my current reading. Maybe some time a few of the jottings will appear here.

How to read a book

I’ve been reading Mortimer Adler’s book How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (Simon and Schuster, 1972) that he updated with Charles Van Doren. I’ve found it helpful to challenge how I read, and to become more effective in my reading. It’s definitely a worthwhile investment for any reader. I see that Brian Fulthorp has been publishing a series of summaries of the chapters over the past few months. I’m going to be reading them to see if I missed anything useful so far.