HOW TO READ A BOOK PDF
How to Read a Book attempts to inculcate skills that are useful for reading anything. can read books, magazines, and newspapers of transient interest without. Introduction and Premise. Reading books is a way of learning, with the author being your instructor. The more active the reading, the better. Quasi-permanent URL: myavr.info But many of the books, articles, and other documents you'll read during your.
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How to read a book - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. This is the best summary of How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and of this Classic Guide on Intelligent Reading, also available in PDF. With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely.
Reading a book is like a conversation. The opposite is true — the teachable reader is the most critical. Determine which of her problems the author has solved, which she has not, and decide if the author knew she had failed to solve. Much like a conversation, you need to give the author the chance to express herself fully before passing judgment.
You must finish the other tasks above outlining the book, defining main terms, understanding the main arguments before criticizing. The knowledge to understand the author may be present in other works by the author. Agreeing is as valid a critical action as disagreeing. You can be wrong in agreeing.
Furthermore, you can suspend judgment if you feel the author does not make a sufficiently reasoned argument. Do not be contentious or combative for its own sake. Many see a discussion as something to be won, rather than an opportunity to discover the truth. They close themselves to learning something new or changing their mind.
A disagreement is an opportunity to teach, and an opportunity to be taught. Separate your emotional reaction to the book from the rational one. When you agree or disagree, you must give reasons for your disagreement.
And fighting opinions with opinions is an endless battle with no victory. Be aware of your own assumptions, and that your opponent may be entitled to different assumptions.
According to How to Read a Book, If you disagree with the author, your criticism must fit into a set of categories: The author is uninformed: lacks knowledge that is relevant to the argument. Darwin lacked knowledge of later Mendelian genetics. An author ignores the relevant work of predecessors.
How to read a book
Aristotle was misinformed about how females participate in animal reproduction, and thus came to unsupportable conclusions about procreation. The misinformation should be relevant to the argument.
Aquinas supposed that heavenly bodies were composed of different matter from terrestrial bodies; but this was not relevant to his metaphysical account of matter. The author is illogical: commits some logical fallacy. Non sequitur: the conclusion simply does not follow from the reasons offered. As there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws.
Inconsistency: two things the author has tried to say are incompatible. To a Christian believing in personal immortality, Marcus Aurelius is incomplete in his treatment of human happiness.
Approaches for Different Genres The above principles apply generally to all books, in particular expository books. This section treats different genres and guides on how to adjust the four key questions: What is this book about as a whole?
What is being said in detail, and how? Is the book true, in whole or part? What of it? Why is this important? What follows? Practical Books Practical books concern how to do things better. They can be mainly a book of rules like a cookbook or a set of principles that generate rules like The Wealth of Nations , or somewhere in between. The practical book itself can never solve its targeted problems directly.
About the Project
Note that practical books are not purely theoretical emotionless treatments, like math proofs are. To be effective, they contain rhetoric or propaganda that appeal to the heart as well as the mind. Understand the context of the author.
For Leviathan, Hobbes lived in the English civil wars and was distressed by social disorder. What is this book about as a whole? What problems are being addressed?
Discover the rules that are being recommended. Discover the principles that justify the rules. Find the applications of the rules to concrete cases. Does the rule actually work? Do you desire the end that the rule guides to? Figure out how the rules should be applied in practice.
Imaginative Literature Most of the principles so far apply to expository writing, where the aim is to convey information or lead to action. The goal of imaginative literature is different: to convey an experience.
Allow it to move you. Where expository writing defines its terms with explicit precision, imaginative works deal in ambiguity. Imaginative works are judged by how well they reflect reality. Not necessarily in verisimilitude as science fiction or fantasy violate but rather whether what is being said rings true — characterization, how characters respond to events, whether themes are revealed that reflect your experiences.
How to Read a Book Summary
Reading imaginative works should be active and critical. When you say you like or dislike a fictional work, you should articulate why, and what is good or bad about the book. The terms are connected in propositions: the characters live and breathe in the world. The arguments are the interaction between the propositions: how the characters respond to events. The analogy breaks down on inspection, but the purpose of this reasoning is to enhance your pleasure by understanding why you like something.
Summarize the plot of the book in a few sentences. What are the elements of the work — its setting, characters and their thoughts and actions , events? What is the shape of the plot, to climax and aftermath? Do the characters behave realistically? What have you learned from the experience? Does it satisfy your heart and mind?
Do you appreciate the beauty of the work? Readers live out fantasies in the characters — passionate love, empire construction, overcoming struggle. People crave a feeling of order and justice. In bad stories, people seem to be punished or rewarded with no rhyme or reason. The great books tend to satisfy the deep unconscious needs of almost everybody.
Read it quickly with total immersion, ideally in one sitting. This is just like moving to a new town. The important ones will keep resurfacing. Once the story ends, it ends. Your imagination of what the characters do afterward is meaningless. They lack stage direction. Instruct the actors on where to stand, where to face, and how to say their lines.
Tell them the importance of certain lines. Some lines of plays are ambiguous — how you choose to act will affect the interpretation of the scene. Are you honest? When confused by a line, say it aloud and with meaning — this will clarify many a line without having to consult a dictionary.
In tragedies eg Aeschylus , the essence of tragedy is time, or the lack of it. We see what should have been done, but would we have been able to see it in time? Poetry Poetry is a spontaneous overflowing of the personality. Defining what constitutes poetry is difficult, but you know it when you see it.
Read it through without stopping and trying too hard to understand every single line. The essence of a poem is never in the first line, but rather in the whole. Checking if the chapters have a summary at the beginning and at the end, and check the end of the book to see if the author summarized it.
How to read a book
If so, read it. Or even better, because you need to read it and the information is relevant for your life.
Use Several Modes Instead of just reading, writing the information down. Think about it, visualize it and put it to action. Reapeat If a book is very good or if the information is very important to you: read it again.
Take Time to Process You know those dares of 50 books a year, or 20 books a month? Take time to think the information over and it will more easily sink into your brain. Question The Information Understand the author and his position, understand the period of time it was written and question what the author says. A big note of caution here: before you question anything, I would urge you instead to also do the opposite: accept it. Know When to Switch Gear On some pieces of information or on some chapters you can go quicker.How to Read a Book: Children at this level learn to read for different reasons and in different content areas, such as science, arts, social studies and so on.
I'm in exactly the same situation and do the same thing. Here are the tips to improve your reading experience on Mac. The analogy breaks down on inspection, but the purpose of this reasoning is to enhance your pleasure by understanding why you like something. This is just like moving to a new town.
Even better, it helps you remember what you read, so you can make your life better. Finally, it may seem obvious, but no judgment or criticism is also a way of criticizing.
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