Here’s a confession: throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, I never finished the books that were assigned to me because I didn’t enjoy reading. It was a chore and I simply didn’t understand much of what I read. I thought reading was boring.
That all changed in my 1st semester of my 2nd year in college. In those 4 months, I finished more books than I had ever read in my entire life! Having a strong appetite for reading also inspired me to become a better reader so I did what any book reader would do: I searched for books on how to read books.
That is when I came across the old classic, How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler.
Adler was an American philosopher and educator as well as a best selling author. This book taught me how to become a more competent reader.
Here are my top 10 takeaways from How to Read a Book.
“Goal of reading: being lifted from a state of understanding less to understanding more.”
“…listening is learning from a teacher who is present-a living teacher-while reading is learning from one who is absent.”
“Always pre-read/skim a book before reading it to make sure that it is worth reading. When you are done skimming (which should only take about an hour at max), you should know what the thesis of the book is.”
How to skim:
Look at page title and preface
Study table of contents
Read the publisher’s blurb
Read random paragraphs and certain pages to get a run down of the book