Reformers Blog — How to Read a Book

How to Read a Book: State what the book is about in one sentence

Posted by Thomas Eglinton on

Rule number 2 of Analytical Reading is: Know what the book is about. More specifically, Adler says you must be able to state what the 'unity' of the book is about in one sentence or a few sentences at most.

Being able to do this demonstrates that you really know what the book is about.

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How to Read a Book - Know what Kind of Book you are Reading

Posted by Thomas Eglinton on

We are now on to learning about the third level of reading: Analytical Reading. We will slow down now, as Adler takes us through how to read analytically in detail. The first this we need to learn in order to read analytically is to work out what kind of book we are reading. Alder puts it this way: The first rule of analytical reading can be expressed as follows: Rule 1. You must know what kind of book you are reading, and you should know this as early in the process as possible, preferably before you being to read. There...

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How to Read a Book - Ask Your Book Some Questions

Posted by Thomas Eglinton on

The questions we are about to learn must not just be stored somewhere in the back of your mind. It must become a habit to ask these questions as you read. Really, it comes back to the fact that real reading is active reading.

So, what questions should we ask our book as we are reading it?

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How to Read a Book: Reading Speeds

Posted by Thomas Eglinton on

Think about what your eyes are doing as they read - even this article. Do they flow smoothly across the page/screen? Or is the movement jolted, stopping and starting, ducking back to re-read a few words or even a whole sentence? Consider how wasteful this can be in terms of the time it takes to read a book.

Adler's tip for training yourself to read faster, without jumping back and forth and stopping and starting is to get yourself a highly technical tool. He calls it a 'finger'.

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How to Read a Book - Inspectional Reading: Superficial Reading

Posted by Thomas Eglinton on

'Superficial reading' is where you read right through the book without stopping, ignoring the parts that you don't understand, paying no attention to sections of the argument that didn't make sense, but taking in anything and everything that is clear to you. The idea is to read the book relatively quickly without much stopping or starting.

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