How To Read a Book

How to Read a Book
By: Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
© 1940, 1972

The excerpts from this book contain emphasis.  Italics  and CAPS are the Authors’
Bold is mine to call out what I believe to be important points
Underline is mine to identify supportive material that is not necessary to the primary point, but useful in further understanding them



PART ONE – The Dimensions of Reading

  1. The Activity and Art of Reading
  2. The Levels of Reading
  3. The First Level of Reading: Elementary Reading
  4. The Second Level of Reading: Inspectional Reading
  5. How to be a Demanding Reader

PART TWO – The Third Level of Reading: Analytical Reading

  1. Pigeonholing a Book
  2. X-Raying a Book
  3. Coming to Terms with an Author
  4. Determining an Author’s Message
  5. Criticizing a Book Fairly
  6. Agreeing or Disagreeing with an Author
  7. Aids to Reading

PART THREE – Approaches to Different Kinds of Reading Matter

  1. How to Read Practical Books
  2. How to Read Imaginative Literature
  3. Suggestions for Reading Stories, Plays, and Poems
  4. How to Read History
  5. How to Read Science and Mathematics
  6. How to Read Philosophy
  7. How to Read Social Science

PART FOUR – The Ultimate Goals of Reading

  1. The Fourth Level of Reading: Syntopical Reading
  2. Reading and the Growth of the Mind

APPENDIX A – A Recommended Reading List

APPENDIX B – Exercises and Tests at the Four Levels of Reading

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