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How to Read a Book

The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading


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 rewritten and updated with new material. 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.

Portrait
Dr. Mortimer J. Adler was Chairman of the Board of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, Honorary Trustee of the Aspen Institute, and authored more than fifty books. He died in 2001.

Dr. Charles Van Doren earned advanced degrees in both literature and mathematics from Columbia University, where he later taught English and was the Assistant Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research. He also worked for Encyclopedia Britannica in Chicago.
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  • CONTENTS

    Preface

    PART ONE

    THE DIMENSIONS OF READING

    1. The Activity and Art of Reading

    Active Reading

    The Goals of Reading: Reading for Information and Reading for Understanding

    Reading as Learning: The Difference Between Learning by Instruction and Learning by Discovery

    Present and Absent Teachers

    2. The Levels of Reading

    3. The First Level of Reading: Elementary Reading

    Stages of Learning to Read

    Stages and Levels

    Higher Levels of Reading and Higher Education

    Reading and the Democratic Ideal of Education

    4. The Second Level of Reading: Inspectional Reading

    Inspectional Reading I Systematic Skimming or Prereading

    Inspectional Reading II: Superficial Reading

    On Reading Speeds

    Fixations and Regressions

    The Problem of Comprehension

    Summary of Inspectional Reading

    5. How to Be a Demanding Reader

    The Essence of Active Reading: The Four Basic Questions a Reader Asks

    How to Make a Book Your Own

    The Three Kinds of Note-making

    Forming the Habit of Reading

    From Many Rules to One Habit

    PART TWO

    THE THIRD LEVEL OF READING: ANALYTICAL READING

    6. Pigeonholing a Book

    The Importance of Classifying Books

    What You Can Learn from the Title of a Book

    Practical vs. Theoretical Books

    Kinds of Theoretical Books

    7. X-raying a Book

    Of Plots and Plans: Stating the Unity of a Book

    Mastering the Multiplicity: The Art of Outlining a Book

    The Reciprocal Arts of Reading and Writing

    Discovering the Author's Intentions

    The First Stage of Analytical Reading

    8. Coming to Terms with an Author

    Words vs. Terms

    Finding the Key Words

    Technical Words and Special Vocabularies

    Finding the Meanings

    9. Determining an Author's Message

    Sentences vs. Propositions

    Finding the Key Sentences

    Finding the Propositions

    Finding the Arguments

    Finding the Solutions

    The Second Stage of Analytical Reading

    10. Criticizing a Book Fairly

    Teachability as a Virtue

    The Role of Rhetoric

    The Importance of Suspending Judgment

    The Importance of Avoiding Contentiousness

    On the Resolution of Disagreements

    11. Agreeing or Disagreeing with an Author

    Prejudice and Judgment

    Judging the Author's Soundness

    Judging the Author's Completeness

    The Third Stage of Analytical Reading

    12. Aids to Reading

    The Role of Relevant Experience

    Other Books as Extrinsic Aids to Reading

    How to Use Commentaries and Abstracts

    How to Use Reference Books

    How to Use a Dictionary

    How to Use an Encyclopedia

    PART THREE

    APPROACHES TO DIFFERENT KINDS OF READING MATTER

    13. How to Read Practical Books

    The Two Kinds of Practical Books

    The Role of Persuasion

    What Does Agreement Entail in the Case of a Practical Book?

    14. How to Read Imaginative Literature

    How Not to Read Imaginative Literature

    General Rules for Reading Imaginative Literature

    15. Suggestions for Reading Stories, Plays, and Poems

    How to Read Stories

    A Note About Epics

    How to Read Plays

    A Note About Tragedy

    How to Read Lyric Poetry

    16. How to Read History

    The Elusiveness of Historical Facts

    Theories of History

    The Universal in History

    Questions to Ask of a Historical Book

    How to Read Biography and Autobiography

    How to Read About Current Events

    A Note on Digests

    17. How to Read Science and Mathematics

    Understanding the Scientific Enterprise

    Suggestions for Reading Classical Scientific Books

    Facing the Problem of Mathematics

    Handling the Mathematics in Scientific Books

    A Note on Popular Science

    18. How to Read Philosophy

    The Questions Philosophers Ask

    Modern Philosophy and the Great Tradition

    On Philosophical Method

    On Philosophical Styles

    Hints for Reading Philosophy

    On Making Up Your Own Mind

    A Note on Theology

    How to Read "Canonical" Books

    19. How to Read Social Science

    What Is Social Science?

    The Apparent Ease of Reading Social Science

    Difficulties of Reading Social Science

    Reading Social Science Literature

    PART FOUR

    THE ULTIMATE GOALS OF READING

    20. The Fourth Level of Reading: Syntopical Reading

    The Role of Inspection in Syntopical Reading

    The Five Steps in Syntopical Reading

    The Need for Objectivity

    An Example of an Exercise in Syntopical Reading: The Idea of Progress

    The Syntopicon and How to Use It

    On the Principles That Underlie Syntopical Reading

    Summary of Syntopical Reading

    21. Reading and the Growth of the Mind

    What Good Books Can Do for Us

    The Pyramid of Books

    The Life and Growth of the Mind

    Appendix A. A Recommended Reading List

    Appendix B. Exercises and Tests at the Four Levels of Reading

    Index
    0
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 426
Erscheinungsdatum 01.01.1986
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-671-21209-4
Reihe A Touchstone book
Verlag Pocket Books USA
Maße (L/B/H) 20,8/13,4/3,2 cm
Gewicht 366 g
Abbildungen mit Illustrationen
Verkaufsrang 8830
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
13,49
13,49
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