HOW TO READ A BOOK: The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading

HOW TO READ A BOOK: The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading PDFHOW TO READ A BOOK: The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by  Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren pdf

This is a book for readers and for those who wish to become readers. Particularly, it is for readers of books. Even more particularly, it is for those whose main purpose in reading books is to gain increased understanding.

By “readers” we mean people who are still accustomed, as almost every literate and intelligent person used to be, to gain a large share of their information about and their understanding of the world from the written word. Not all of it, of course; even in the days before radio and television, a certain amount of information and understanding was acquired through spoken words and through observation. But for intelligent and curious people that was never enough. They knew that they had to read too, and they did read.

There is some feeling nowadays that reading is not as necessary as it once was. Radio and especially television have taken over many of the functions once served by print, just as photography has taken over functions once served by painting and other graphic arts. Admittedly, television serves some of these functions extremely well; the visual communication of news events, for example, has enormous impact.

The ability of radio to give us information while we are engaged in doing other things—for instance, driving a car—is remarkable, and a great saving of time. But it may be seriously questioned  whether the advent of modem communications media has much enhanced our  understanding of the world in which we live….



  • The Activity and Art of Reading
    Active Reading
    The Goals of Reading: Reading for Information and Reading for Understanding
    Reading as Learning: The Difference Between Learning by Instruction and Learning by Discovery
    Present and Absent Teachers
  • The Levels of Reading
  • The First Level of Reading: Elementary Reading
    Stages of Learning to Read
    Stages and Levels
    Higher Levels of Reading and Higher Education
    Reading and the Democratic Ideal of Education
  • The Second Level of Reading: Inspectional Reading
    Inspectorial Reading I: Systematic Skimming or Pre-reading
    Inspectional Reading II: Superficial Reading
    On Reading Speeds
    Fixations and Regressions
    The Problem of Comprehension
    Summary of Inspectional Reading
  • How to Be a Demanding Reader
    The Essence of Active Reading: The Four Basic Questions a Reader Asks
    How to Make a Book Your Own
    The Three Kinds of Note-making
    Forming the Habit of Reading
    From Many Rules to One Habit


  • Pigeonholing a Book
    The Importance of Classifying Books
    What You Can Learn from the Title of a Book
    Practical vs. Theoretical Books
    Kinds of Theoretical Books
  •  X-raying a Book
    Of Plots and Plans: Stating the Unity of a Book
    Mastering the Multiplicity: The Art of Outlining a Book
    The Reciprocal Arts of Reading and Writing
    Discovering the Authors Intentions
    The First Stage of Analytical Reading
  • Coming to Terms with an Author
    Words vs. Terms
    Finding the Key Words
    Technical Words and Special Vocabularies
    Finding the Meanings
  •  Determining an Author’s Message
    Sentences vs. Propositions
    Finding the Key Sentences
    Finding the Propositions
    Finding the Arguments
    Finding the Solutions
    The Second Stage of Analytical Reading
  • Criticizing a Book Fairly 
    Teachability as a Virtue
    The Role of Rhetoric
    The Importance of Suspending Judgment
    The Importance of Avoiding Contentiousness
    On the Resolution of Disagreements
  • Agreeing or Disagreeing with an Author 
    Prejudice and Judgment
    Judging the Author’s Soundness
    Judging the Author’s Completeness
    The Third Stage of Analytical Reading
  • Aids to Reading 
    The Role of Relevant Experience
    Other Books as Extrinsic Aids to Reading
    How to Use Commentaries and Abstracts
    How to Use Reference Books
    How to Use a Dictionary
    How to Use an Encyclopedia


  • How to Read Practical Books
    The Two Kinds of Practical Books
    The Role of Persuasion
    What Does Agreement Entail in the Case of a Practical Book?
  • How to Read Imaginative Literature
    How Not to Read Imaginative Literature
    General Rules for Reading Imaginative Literature
  •  Suggestions for Reading Stories, Plays, and Poems
    How to Read Stories
    A Note About Epics
    How to Read Plays
    A Note About Tragedy
    How to Read Lyric Poetry
  •  How to Read History 
    The Elusiveness of Historical Facts
    Theories of History
    The Universal in History
    Questions to Ask of a Historical Book
    How to Read Biography and Autobiography
    How to Read About Current Events
    A Note on Digests
  •  How to Read Science and Mathematics
    Understanding the Scientific Enterprise
    Suggestions for Reading Classical Scientific Books
    Facing the Problem of Mathematics
    Handling the Mathematics in Scientific Books
    A Note on Popular Science
  • How to Read Philosophy
    The Questions Philosophers Ask
    Modem Philosophy and the Great Tradition
    On Philosophical Method
    On Philosophical Styles
    Hints for Reading Philosophy
    On Making Up Your Own Mind
    A Note on Theology
    How to Read “Canonical’ Books
  •  How to Read Social Science
    What Is Social Science?
    The Apparent Ease of Reading Social Science
    Difficulties of Reading Social Science
    Reading Social Science Literature


  • The Fourth Level of Reading: Syntopical Reading
    The Role of Inspection in Syntopical Reading
    The Five Steps in Syntopical Reading
    The Need for Objectivity
    An Example of an Exercise in Syntopical Reading: The Idea of Progress
    The Syniopicon and How to Use It
    On the Principles That Underlie Syntopical Reading
    Summary of Syntopical Reading
  •  Reading and the Growth of the Mind
    What Good Books Can Do for Us
    The Pyramid of Books
    The Life and Growth of the Mind

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 440
Size: 36.7 Mb
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