How To Read A Book – Mortimer J. Adler

by DanB

How to Read a Book

I recently found myself discussing and recommending How to Read
A Book
by Mortimer Adler. I keep coming back to that book since
it had a such a large impact on my life. In a nutshell the book
shows you how to read a book and extract the meaning inside of
it. Obviously, this doesn’t have to apply only to books. The
techniques work just as well with all forms of communication.

In our “instant information” society many have lost their
ability to discern. News and information is often rated by how
visually appealing the information is rather than the content of
the information itself. The brevity of most news sources makes
it difficult to apply any constructive thought to the topic.

How To Read A Book was recommended to me during my second year
of college. It changed the way I approached my studies and
viewed information. After reading the book I was angry that
nobody had taught me these things in high school. It would have
made a big difference in how I approached learning and even
reading for enjoyment.

This is one of the books I keep in my “give away” pile. Used
copies I pick up and give to friends who can benefit from it.

If your job or hobby involves research or digesting information
you will benefit from reading this book. If you enjoy keeping up
with politics or other subjects that have lots of rhetoric you
will enjoy this book. If you know someone in high school get
them a copy and encourage them to learn the skills. They will
benefit from them the rest of their life.

Read more about this book at

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  • max weismann

    We have recently made an exciting discovery–three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos on the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    When we discovered them and how intrinsically edifying they are, we negotiated an agreement with Encyclopaedia Britannica to be the exclusive worldwide agent to make them available.

    I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are–we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

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