By Ogova Ondego
Published February 12, 2017
In a world in which almost everything depends on reading, and in which there is far too much literature than you can possibly exhaust in a life time, how do you choose what to read and how to read it? Did you know that not every book deserves to be given the same attention?
How to Read a Book, a classic by Mortimer J Adler and Charles Van Doren of the United States of America, shows you how to read meaningful literature or, in other words, how to read a book for all its worth.
Granted, your time is competed for by such forces as sports, movies, music, internet, tests, term papers, meals and sleep. But this paperback will help you to meaningfully attend to many of these things and still score better marks in school. Oh yes; I am of the school of thought that demands nothing but the best from every girl, boy, man and woman who is still pursuing education
Ha ha ha. How to Read a Book may have been first written almost 100 years ago, in 1940, but this bestseller has now been revised and updated to meet your reading needs a century later. Now, not just students but even writers, researchers and university instructors are likely find this book most helpful.
The book is divided into four main sections for easy reference in case you don’t want to read it in its entirety. You can just turn to the portion you want.
The authors not only expose different ways to approach various kinds of reading materials, but also introduce four levels of reading – elementary, inspectional, analytical, syntopical – to you, telling you how you can achieve each one of them and with what results.
Adler and van Doren contend that your goals of reading determine the level at which you read. For instance, are you reading for information, understanding or entertainment? By reading at the chosen level, you get to improve both your reading speed and comprehension.
The authors argue that you can classify books and determine whether they deserve your attention just from their titles; you can also get an author’s message from the sentences and propositions even when the author has not overly stated it. While at it, Adler and van Doren do not fail to show you how you can criticize a book or a public speaker without embarrassing yourself.
You are taught different reading techniques for novels, drama, poetry, mathematics and even philosophy and theology.
Not only is a list of recommended books for further reading given at the back of the book, but also exercises and tests at the four levels of reading to make it possible for you to measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension and speed.
For non-English speakers, I am told, this paperback has been translated into French, German, Spanish and Italian. It is a must have. Get it online.