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How to Read a Book

The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text.

Also included is instruction in the different techniques that work best for reading particular genres, such as practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science works.

Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests you can use measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.

Why Jimmy Recommends It:

Many of us feel as though we know how to read a book. Adler and Van Doren shine light on the subject of reading that causes me to question my capabilities of reading and retaining the material from a book. As a voracious reader, I quickly learned many lessons from reading this excellent book. The original copyright of the book is 1940. Don’t let its age fool you! An abundance of lessons can be learned from this treatise – how to read books of different topics/genres, understanding the author’s style and appreciating each book appropriately and, most importantly, reading to grow your mind.