Mixed Reviews on 'How to Read a Book': A Detailed Analysis
Unlock Reading Potential: In-Depth 'How to Read a Book' Review Analysis

Mixed Reviews on 'How to Read a Book': A Detailed Analysis

The book 'How to Read a Book' by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren receives mixed reviews, with some praising its guidance on reading comprehension and analytical skills, while others find it lengthy and challenging. Readers appreciate the structured approach to reading levels and skills outlined in the book, recommending it for those looking to enhance their reading experience. Despite some negative feedback on the book's length and complexity, many reviewers highlight its value in improving critical thinking and understanding of various texts.

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  • It is a book that needs slow thoughtful reading

    An impressive book that shows you a new side

    of reading it is not at least for me is not a quick read but an amazing one that I am savoring.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Challenging Content
  • Arduous and readable.

    I liked it a lot and found it challenging to the point where I read the whole thing and enjoyed it. I recommend it to most people who are literate. I gave it four out of five because it satisfied my taste for reading.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Book Recommendation
  • The original learning strategies book

    When Mortimer Adler put together the first edition of How To Read A Book, his main goal was nothing less than equipping the reader with the tools for a self-guided liberal education ("liberal" in the sense of picking up a broad spectrum of knowledge, so reading widely as well as reading often). To that end, Adler and the co-author of the revised version Charles Van Doren laid out a method for using a text as an absentee teacher, engaging with a book not just for information but for understanding, so the goal is to encourage you to take a deep dive into something a little bit above your current understanding and raising yourself to the level of the text in the process.

    If that sounds like they're expecting you to use their toolbox to read Wealth of Nations instead of Les Miserables, that's because this is the grandfather of learning strategies books, and somehow it's been misfiled in the literature category for decades. That's where I found my copy, anyway.

    I agree that it's kind of a dry read, and some of that could be chalked up to the post-1972 revision (the current edition), which made things comprehensive and systematic, but also turned the text into something a little bit fussier, and maybe losing some human touches in the process. For instance, the first line of the current chapter 1 goes like this: "This is a book for readers and for those who wish to become readers." The original chapter 1 opens with "This is a book for readers who cannot read." You have to admit, that's a different spirit to kick things off.

    Even with that caveat, it's still worth the effort, but it might take some effort to get to the worth.

    You do need to be warned that "imaginative literature" (fiction, plays and poetry) gets a very short shrift, focusing mainly on maintaining the immersiveness of the experience and actually finishing a story before you pass judgement on it. Themes and symbolism don't figure into that section at all. If that's the main thing you're looking for, you might want to start with Thomas Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor instead.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Classic Literature Analysis
  • Comprehensive Reading

    How to Read a Book, is the revised and updated edition as of May10, 2011. This genre of book is of reading skills and references. I chose to read this book as a refresher of effective comprehensing skills used in reading. The goals of the book is to, remind the reader that understanding what one is reading makes for a better reader and writer. This is accomplished by actively reading and asking questions of the book you're reading. Would recommend this to anyone who loves reading and give this a four out of five stars. I borrowed the book from Kindle Unlimited.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Reading Skills Improvement
  • Something needed for a stroke survivors.

    I have lost a lot of past knowledge. But could at least learn commas before returning to the government world. And learn a bit of French.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Disappointment with Length
  • Good advice for writers and readers

    This is a classic book that every teacher and every high school or college student should read. Its only flaw is that the authors do not make a full-throated call for the use of phonics instead of sight words for teaching basic reading. They go so far as to suggest that children will somehow magically learn to read fluently after memorizing a few hundred sight words. (In truth, the magical event occurs when someone teaches the child the rules of phonics on the sly or the child works out the rules for him or herself by induction.) If the ability to read does not magically occur after the child has learned a few hundred sight words, the authors presume that he child must be unready or from a deprived background. (Was Nelson Rockefeller never ready, or was the Rockefeller family somehow deprived of something?) Normally, I hate to make such a fuss about such a short passage in an otherwise excellent book, but the authors' advice about reading analytically is pointless for people who can recognize only a few hundred words.

    Sentiment
    • Positive
    Content
    • Importance of Reading Instruction
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Sentiment Analysis (of 30 reviews)
51 Net Promoter
Score
Popular Topics (of 30 reviews)
Languages (of 30 reviews)
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