Picture of author.

Mortimer J. Adler (1902–2001)

Autor(a) de How to Read a Book, Revised and Updated Edition

305+ Works 20,875 Membros 168 Críticas 23 Favorited

About the Author

Born in New York, Mortimer Adler was educated at Columbia University. Later as a philosophy instructor there, he taught in a program focused on the intellectual foundations of Western civilization. Called to the University of Chicago in 1927 by President Robert Maynard Hutchins, Adler played a mostrar mais major role in renovating the undergraduate curriculum to center on the "great books." His philosophical interests committed to the dialectical method crystallized in a defense of neo-Thomism, but he never strayed far from concerns with education and other vital public issues. From 1942 to 1945, Adler was director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, based in San Francisco, California. Beginning in 1945 he served as associate editor of Great Books of the Western World series, and in 1952 he published Syntopicon, an analytic index of the great ideas in the great books. In 1966 he became director of the editorial planning for the fifteen edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in 1974, chairman of its editorial board. Adler has been devoted in recent years to expounding his interpretations of selected great ideas and to advocating his Paideia Proposal. That proposal would require that all students receive the same quantity and quality of education, which would concentrate on the study of the great ideas expressed in the great books, a study conducted by means of the dialectical method. Mortimer J. Adler died June 28, 2001 at his home in San Mateo, California at the age of 98. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos


Obras por Mortimer J. Adler

How to Read a Book, Revised and Updated Edition (1972) — Autor — 7,598 exemplares
Ten Philosophical Mistakes (1985) 1,016 exemplares
How to Speak How to Listen (1983) 657 exemplares
Six Great Ideas (1981) 589 exemplares
How to Read a Book {original} (1940) — Autor — 364 exemplares
The Annals of America Complete Set (1968) 289 exemplares
Gateway to the Great Books (1962) — Editor — 207 exemplares
Truth in Religion (1990) 203 exemplares
Angels and Us (1982) 144 exemplares
Great Ideas from the Great Books (1961) 120 exemplares
Intellect: Mind over Matter (1990) 109 exemplares
Biology, psychology, and medicine (1959) 90 exemplares
Paideia Problems & Possibilities (1983) 84 exemplares
Gateway to the Great Books: Volume 6, Man and Society (1963) — Editor — 69 exemplares
Gateway to the Great Books: Volume 5, Critical Essays (1963) — Editor — 67 exemplares
Gateway to the Great Books: Volume 7, Man and Society (1963) — Editor — 66 exemplares
Vision of the Future (1984) 59 exemplares
The Idea of Freedom (1958) 49 exemplares
The Common Sense of Politics (1966) 40 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1966 (1961) 37 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1967 (1967) 32 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1968 (1968) 32 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1963 (1963) — Editor — 31 exemplares
How to Think About War and Peace (1944) 30 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Calvin (1957) 29 exemplares
The Capitalist Manifesto (1958) 28 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1962 (1962) 28 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1965 (1965) 27 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1964 (1964) 25 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1961 (1961) 21 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1976 (1976) 20 exemplares
The Negro in American History (1972) 19 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1981 (1981) 18 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1987 (1987) 17 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1991 (1991) 16 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1993 (1993) 15 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1977 (1977) 15 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1988 (1988) 15 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1978 (1978) 15 exemplares
What Man Has Made Of Man (1937) 15 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1984 (1984) 14 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1989 (1787) 14 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1990 (1990) 14 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1986 (1986) 14 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1980 (1980) 14 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1985 (1985) 14 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1994 (1994) 13 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1995 (1996) 12 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1997 (1998) 12 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1992 (1992) 12 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1982 (1982) 12 exemplares
Dialectic (2000) 10 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1983 (1983) 10 exemplares
How to Read a Book {video} — Autor — 9 exemplares
The Great Ideas Today 1996 (1996) 7 exemplares
Poetry and politics, (1965) 4 exemplares
Revolution in Education (1958) 4 exemplares
ARCHIVO DE ADOLFO C. GURRION (1989) 1 exemplar
How to Mark a Book 1 exemplar
Can Adults Think? 1 exemplar
Max Meets Mortimer 1 exemplar
Beauty-03-Adler 1 exemplar
Beauty-02-Adler 1 exemplar
Beauty-01-Adler 1 exemplar
Gibbon - Vol 40/54 1 exemplar
Gibbon - Vol 41/54 1 exemplar
Kant - Vol 42/54 1 exemplar
Hegel - Vol 46/54 1 exemplar
Goethe - Vol 47/54 1 exemplar
Darwin - Vol 49/54 1 exemplar
Freud - Vol 54/54 1 exemplar
The Great Ideas I 1 exemplar
The Great Ideas II 1 exemplar
The Five Freedoms 1 exemplar
Os Anjos e nós 1 exemplar
The Chicago School 1 exemplar
Pascal - Vol 33/54 1 exemplar
Plato - vol 7/54 1 exemplar
Mortimer Adler 1 exemplar
Como ler um livro 1 exemplar
annals of america 1 exemplar
Great Books 1 1 exemplar
Great Books 2 1 exemplar
Great Books 3 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Moby Dick (1851) — Editor, algumas edições35,504 exemplares
Don Quixote (1605) — Editor, algumas edições30,460 exemplares
War and Peace (1869) — Editor, algumas edições28,736 exemplares
Compendio da obra da riqueza das nações (1776) — Editor, algumas edições6,093 exemplares
The Iliad / The Odyssey (0008) — Editor, algumas edições5,784 exemplares
Democracy in America (1835) — Editor, algumas edições5,738 exemplares
The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) — Editor, algumas edições3,891 exemplares
Plutarch's Lives (0100) — Editor, algumas edições2,430 exemplares
The Annals / The Histories (0098) — Editor, algumas edições828 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Milton (1644) — Editor, algumas edições403 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Hippocrates and Galen (1952) — Editor, algumas edições370 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Locke, Berkeley, Hume (1689) — Editor, algumas edições361 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Aquinas II (1952) — Editor, algumas edições353 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Pascal (1670)algumas edições348 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius (1952) — Editor, algumas edições331 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Aristotle I (1952) — Editor, algumas edições331 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Gilbert, Galileo, Harvey (1600) — Editor, algumas edições325 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Newton and Huygens (1687) — Editor, algumas edições301 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Shakespeare I (1609) — Editor, algumas edições278 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Shakespeare II (1609) — Editor, algumas edições268 exemplares
On the Firing Line: The Public Life of Our Public Figures (1989) — Contribuidor — 112 exemplares
Michel de Montaigne: Twenty-Nine Essays (1982) — Editor — 87 exemplares
The Range of Philosophy: Introductory Readings (1964) — Contribuidor — 52 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Aristotle I and II (1952) — Editor, algumas edições34 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Lucretius, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Plotinus (1991) — Editor, algumas edições; Editor — 21 exemplares
The Annals of America Volume 20 - 1974-1976 The Challenge of Interdependence (1976) — Editor, algumas edições20 exemplares
Britannica Great Books: Dante and Chaucer (1990) — Editor — 17 exemplares
Words, words, and words about dictionaries (1963) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
Reading in English for Students of English as a Second Language (1961) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Apollonius of Perga, vol 11, Great Books of the Western World (1952) — Editor, algumas edições4 exemplares


a ler (5,187) Americano (501) Arte e cultura clássicas (4,138) aventura (656) Baleação (541) Biografia (1,327) classic literature (514) clássico (3,239) e-livro (527) Economia (916) Educação (525) encadernado (508) Espanha (794) Espanhol (828) Ficção (9,394) Ficção histórica (697) Filosofia (2,508) Great Books (906) Guerra (387) história (1,809) Kindle (618) lido (733) Literatura (3,982) Literatura da Espanha (1,051) Literatura da Rússia (1,171) Literatura dos Estados Unidos (942) Não ficção (1,835) own (472) Poesia (386) Política (580) por ler (756) Reading (641) referência (610) Romance (2,093) russo (751) Rússia (1,053) Século XIX (1,355) Século XVII (496) Tradução (419) whales (471)

Conhecimento Comum



Of all elements this book has, the most striking one is perhaps its title. A rather simple, descriptive title, yet, ironically, attractive enough to spark curiosity for some, including myself, leading into a question: why should someone read a book about reading a book?

The answer itself reveals that the said title is actually a bit misleading. What the author means by "read" is not its meaning in a general sense, but a specific kind of it, which, if I try to rename the title of this book, it would be: "How to learn something from an expository book (and make sure you really understand it)".

Some readers, who expecting a more general or leisure type of reading, would feel being deceived; but then, such readers are unlikely to have interest in a book titled "How to Read a Book" in the first place. This is a book for those who want to read seriously--readers who often read a book and after which felt that the book itself still have more to say; or those who struggles to understand a certain difficult read.

The book itself is divided into two main parts. In the first part, the author gives a set of general "rules" that the readers have to follow in order to meet the objective of "mastering" the reading skill. The second part goes into explaining different methods of reading specific kind of books, such as science and history.

The general rules itself are separated into 3 levels, in which the author wants the readers to follow in orderly manner. The first part is called "Inspectional Reading", which purpose is to make the readers know what to expect from a book before a "real" reading takes place. Then followed by the next step, called "Analytical Reding". This is where the "real" reading occurs. In this kind of reading, Adler thinks that the readers should treat the process like a discourse with the book's author. The last step is called "Syntopical Reading". Unlike the former two, this type of reading is a special case applied only when the a reader wants to know a certain topic or subject which requires several books to study.

Some people might get overwhelmed by these rules, even say that they are overly unecessary and ended up hating the activity of reading itself. However, Adler emphasized in this book that these rules aren't supposed to be applied to all kinds of books. Some aren't worth youer time and effort to apply all of these rules when reading them. This is a key point which I think should be noted for the readers of this book.

I find in the second part, where Adler categorizes different rules for specific books, are interesting. My favorites are the parts about Philosophy and Science. In each of these sections, He explain what makes certain kind of books requires different kind of reading. He also gave his perspective and little bit of historical contexts about each of these book types, and why these rules will helps us reads the book better. There are also chapter about novels and poetry where Charles van Doren, Adler's co-author takes his seat of giving his expertise.

In the Appendix of the book, the authors gave us a list of books that they thinks are essentials book to read, the books where the special reading skill are worth to be applied to. There are also exercises to test of what we've learned from this book. The test will gave the readers a test to reads, and requires us to apply the rules from this book to answer.

So far, my only critic is the book's writing style that feels outdated and rigid, especially for today's people. However, I think the book itself delivers its objective. Reading difficult books is hard, and sometimes we gave up halfway. So does the skills required to overcome it. Readers who have patience and diligence of following the rules this books taught will, in my opinion, have their time and effort being paid and rewarded in the end.
… (mais)
arifrohman | 74 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
There are some good essays in this volume, mixed in with some painfully dull, pointless reads that I'd recommend skimming. If you want a great way to be introduced to a lot of different classic authors, this is a good book to pick up.
JBarringer | 1 outra crítica | Dec 15, 2023 |
truth, goodness, beauty, liberty, equality, justice
betty_s | 3 outras críticas | Sep 27, 2023 |
"How To Read A Book", a classic originally published in 1940. My 7-year-old grandson, Cade, laughed at this book, "I don't get it. How can you read this book if you don't know how to read?" Haha...he's so clever!

This type of learning to read is just the reverse of discerning what books to read and reference when writing research papers. I learned a lot of this stuff in high school English class and LOVED it. It was definitely better taught hands on and in an orderly process than reading about it. But, I read this book anyway just to see if I was missing anything.

The main point when reading books you want to learn from, is not to be a lazy reader. You must be interactive with the book. Locating important key words and phrases and making sure you understand their meaning by marking it, looking words up, note the context it's used in the sentence. You must be able to determine if all their data collected to validate the author's point of view is actual facts (from what sources) or simply biased opinions. If it's part of the authors knowledge base, is that knowledge base correct or skewed? You must ask questions for the meaning of passages, or you cannot expect to learn any new insights from it, and to know what the arguments and solutions are and their meaning. To test yourself for understanding, rewrite the proposition (the main point) of a sentence or paragraph in your own words without using any of the author's words.

I loved the first half of this book on how to read a single expository book analytically. It gets a strong 4-stars. The second half of the book on how to read other types of books, such as literary books, novels, poetry, philosophy, social sciences, etc…, gets a strong 1-star. I couldn’t understand a darn thing I was reading, and they seemed to repeat themselves everywhere, adding to the length of the book. So, overall rating is about 3-stars.
**spoilers below**
There are 3 purposes for reading: entertainment, information and understanding. All three of these will determine HOW you read. For example, I'm reading this book really slow because I want to gain more than just information to store. I want insight on how I can literally be a better reader.

The author goes over four different levels of reading:

1. ELEMENTARY READING - just learning words and putting them together without any real meaning. You should see "reading readiness" by age 6 or 7, if not, that child may need extra help. Reading readiness involves physical (good vision and hearing), intellectual (remembers entire words and letters), language (speaks clearly and uses several sentences in correct order), and personal (work with other kids, attention span, and can follow directions). Delaying the reading experience is better than jumping the gun and pushing that child into a reading experience he is not ready for. This could turn that child off from reading for the rest of his life. It's okay to pick up reading at his own pace, as long as he is continuing to learn. By 4th grade, your child should be reading street and traffic signs, business signs, picture captions, etc... By 8th, 9th and 10th grade, your child should be able to read almost anything and mature enough to do high school work. By graduating high school, your child should have reached the analytical reading level before entering college or to be able to research and pursue his own interests in life. If they are more than just literate readers and have become "competent" readers, then they have reached the Elementary Reading stage successfully.

2. INSPECTIONAL READING - skimming over the book: the title, preface, the author's blurb, the table of contents and the index (Amazon now usually makes this available to view before purchasing any book) to determine what kind of book it is in a limited amount of time, read first and last couple of pages of the book and a couple of paragraph's in the chapters that may be relevant to you. When reading expository works, read through the entire book superficially. Then, go back and dissect it. [NOTES: This is much like when reading the Bible. I read the full chapter, then follow the study guide to dissect each verse.] And then there's "speed reading". I don't like to force this. Everyone reads different types of books at different speeds. I read mindless novels A LOT faster than expository works. I read the most horrible, awful books superfast, mainly skimming over words...just to say I at least looked at the words...and just to finish the ghastly book, and not even knowing what the heck I read. Very rare for me to actually do this. I know I for sure did this with "Absalom, Absalom" by William Faulkner. Ugh!

HOW TO MAKE A BOOK YOUR OWN, p. 48-51: The "art" of reading is demanding. You have to ask questions of the book, and with a pencil write and answer those questions : 1) What is the book about? 2) What is being said in detail, and how? (Main ideas, assertions, arguments) 3) Is the book true, in whole or part? (You decide) 4) What of it? (Did it enlighten you with knowledge? Do you need to seek more? What is implied?) You bought the book, mark it up and make it yours.

3. ANALYTICAL READING - a complete reading of a book given an unlimited amount of time, marking and highlighting and asking questions of the book. This level of reading is strictly for the sake of understanding. [NOTE: This is my favorite level of reading when it pertains to gardening, genealogical history, learning a new hobby, and reading up on natural health or health issues. I'm very analytical and active with these books, marking notes, highlighting, looking up words in a dictionary. I want to understand what I'm reading.] To answer the question: What is the book about as a whole, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Learn to classify expositorial books - Practical (how-to, should do and should not do, good, bad, ought to...medical, gardening, engineering, economics,) vs. Theoretical (states facts but tries to convince you something is true, and here is a way to make them better...psychology, philosophy, science, history and sometimes political books)

Step 2. If you cannot explain what the book is about (its plot or theme) in just a few words, or a few sentences, then you haven't fully grasped the meaning of the book.

NOTE: Strive to do this with EVERY book, whether novel or expository book. This will come in handy for my book reviews on Goodreads cause I'm so long winded. Remember that a book is something different to each reader, so don't go comparing my reviews with others.

Step 3. Identify the major parts of the book, as in an outline.

Step 4. Can you state the main question the expository book tries to answer?

In any case, the reader has the last say by way of critiquing. If you have not been convinced of the material, then you should present material to counter why you disagree. Don't just disagree and insult. "Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider." Francis Bacon. And then there are those who read just to doubt or read just to rip apart.

NOTE: What comes to mind here, in the year 2021, are political books. Lately, I have run across liberal individuals who are not even reading, but literally bashing conservative authors personally and trashing their name instead of reviewing the book. I have since deleted at least four of my Goodreads friends who "liked" a particular individual's person bashing review that wasn't focused on the book at all. I mean, after all, what is their own opinion now worth?

Reviews should at least be respectful. It does a reader well to live by the code of etiquette: be polite, but be effective when talking back (reviewing). But, know that you are not a "true" critic until you fully listen, or have read, and understand the content. To rate the book on lack of understanding, first be sure to give it your all. It will usually be the reader's fault for not understanding, and it is okay and preferable to state so in this case.

"Be as prepared to agree as to disagree." Your decision should be based on only one consideration - the facts and the truth about the author's case. Agree with the author when you see a point, and don't hesitate to disagree when you don't see their point, but give your grounds for disagreeing, whether it be knowledge (with current evidence) or personal opinion. First, make sure it isn't a misunderstanding, then determine between genuine knowledge or mere opinion. The problem we are having today in conversations regarding politics is perfectly stated on page 148-49: “The trouble is that many people disregard disagreement as unrelated to as either teaching or being taught. They think that everything is just a matter of opinion. I have mine, and you have yours...On such a view, communication can not be profitable if the profit to be gained is an increase in knowledge. Conversation is hardly better than a ping pong game of opposed opinions, a game in which no one keeps score, no one wins, and everyone is satisfied because he does not lose- that is, he ends up holding the same opinions he started with.” If the reader does not know or value the difference between statements of knowledge and flat out expression of opinion, then he is not reading to learn. He is judging the author, not the book, itself.

When disagreeing with an author, specify why: 1) The author is uninformed, 2) The author is misinformed, 3) The author is illogical and not cohesive, or 4) The author's analysis is incomplete. Be specific about what exactly you disagree with AND support your point with specifics. You must be able to argue the truth.

4. SYNTOPICAL READING - most complex level of reading and usually involves the reading of other material, comparing, coming to a conclusion, whether through various sources or even your own conclusion not mentioned. This is research. [NOTE: At times, I do go here when it comes to natural health.]

I'm a life-time learner type person, always reading and yearning to learn more about anything really. This book is for people like me. But, if are a English student, it would actually be better to learn from an English teacher. And if you are an English teacher, then this is a must read so you can teach your students better reading habits of expository works. Also, if you are a writer, you will definitely want to read this book. It is the reverse of writing and provides all the steps in how to choose a book, how to scan a book for relevancy, how to properly agree or disagree with an author.

A well-read person is NOT the one who has read the most books. A well-read person is one who has applied all the principles of analytical reading, and has complete understanding of the subject or subjects of interest and the meaning the author has written. A good student often becomes a teacher, and a good reader often becomes a writer, and not always in the "professional" sense, but as in the sharing of information with others.

Special note to remember from page 339: "You will not improve as a reader if all you read are books that are well within your capacity. You must tackle books that are beyond you, or, as we have said, books that are over your head. Only books of that sort will make you stretch your mind. And unless you stretch, you will not learn."

But, most importantly, learning to read well (actively), keeps our minds alive. Like the muscles, over time, the mind can atrophy, if not used.
… (mais)
1 vote
MissysBookshelf | 74 outras críticas | Aug 27, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
Marcado como favorito

Tabelas & Gráficos