How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading By Mortimer J. Adley, Charles Van Doren
How to Read a Book is a 1940 book by the philosopher Mortimer J. Adler. He co-authored a heavily revised edition in 1972 with the editor Charles Van Doren, which gives guidelines for critically reading good and great books of any tradition.
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 an 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 to measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.