Word by Word
We read books! How do we read books? Are we using the correct method? These are some of the questions that most people ask when reading books; which include Professors in various institutions, asking these questions too. Apparently, few have recognized how they should read books. They do not know whether they are doing it efficiently. We read books word by word. Every word has its meaning and importance in sentences. Reading is the most important way of learning new things. Other than listening, reading gives us the details that no one else can tell us. The book by Adler, “How to read a book”, the level one of reading, makes an important point about the “goal of a reader”, what does one seeks.We read books, magazines, and all types of printed and published readable stuffs; but do we really use the correct method? How do we learn the details easily while reading? The book by Adler, “How to read a book” will guide you towards becoming the best reader. It will help you know what reading is all about and how to read and get the author’s ideas perfectly.
Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, especially when reading books about the process of reading. It may sound boring to anyone who doesn’t like reading but it quite interesting to me and my friends; because we share the hobby. I even tend to love reading whenever the text carry or reveal some of the important tricks on how I can read books. Reading Mortimer Adler’s book, “How to read a book”, I found some interesting stuffs yet some obvious problems. One may argue that it’s all about one attitude or preformed mentality, or attitude towards a given subject or the author. Arguably, that may be the fact but still my argument or feelings regarding the book still hold waters for those who have read it and tried to understand the author’s stance.My case is different; I think part of the problem when reading the book is that I was already spoiled by another book by Susan Bauer “The-Well Educated Mind”. With a lot of specificity and brevity, Bauer offers individual methods for reading autobiographies, books, drama, poetry as well as history. Besides this, Bauer gives informative and illustrative historical summaries for each of the mentioned genres, and this is advantageous to a neophyte like me. Skimming books is also mentioned in her text. She gives a lot of highlights regarding the process with regards to avoiding introductions, skimming of books, and many more. In particular, reading Adler’s book makes me reverberate a lot regarding the author Bauer.
If I were to choose and buy one of the two books, I would definitely buy Bauer’s book because she discusses most of the areas of my interest. If slicing and dicing Plato and Aristotle is your interest, then Adler’s book is the most appropriate for you. You will learn about the subject and internalize what Adler talks about in the book. In addition, Adler uses much simpler language with minimal confusion and excellent diction. Having read the two books and tried to compare them, I can confidently confess that I have learned a lot from the two authors. I have developed note taking skills. I understand what it means when one says “note taking requires understanding of the essential elements/words in a book.” Having read the two, however, I still feel inadequate when it comes to tackling poetry and anything related to literature. This is because the books do not teach much about interpretation but rather skimming and understanding of what a given book or passage is all about. I believe I can be good in poetry and literature analysis I believe with team, I can learn more. As usually I welcome any suggestions.
This “Reading Blog” reminded me about this story, “A man once made this excuse to the great evangelist, D.L. Moody. He answered, “My friend, if you are too busy to read the Bible every day you are busier than Almighty God ever intended any human being should be, and you had better let some things go, and take time to read the Bible.” We must read the word of God daily.
Adler, Mortimer Jerome. How to Read a Book, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1940.p16