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I picked the original 1940s edition of this up at an estate sale several years ago. Since I am someone who is seldom seen without a book in hand (now it is earbuds in ears), my family teased me incessantly about the title. But this book taught me more about the art and skill of reading to learn and reading to understand than I learned through my entire formal education. I would almost say that this book "taught" me to read and what I had done up until that point was a pale imitation. This should be required reading to every person even considering going to college. And if they cannot understand and learn from the book, that is a good sign their reading skills need remedial work.
I was excited when I noticed that Audible had the updated 1970s edition available. It is a major departure from the original work. It was almost entirely overhauled. Even though they are considerably different I found them both equally well written and the new version presented new ideas.
I felt somewhat foolish listening to a book about how to read. But I have found the same skills helpful as I listen, as I found them as I read. And while the book deals primarily with "serious" or "scholarly" reading, the skills discussed also enhance my experience reading modern fiction, even trashy modern fiction. You can always learn something, if you know how to go about it.
I cannot recommend this book enough. To say it changed my life when I first read it, might be an overstatement. But it certainly caused me to enjoy reading even more, and to not just use books to reinforce what I already know, but to stretch myself and actually learn something new.
51 of 52 people found this review helpful
Mr. Adler's theories on 'active' reading caused me to consider how I read and gain from it. His guidance on making a book my own through questions, referencing and notes has given me an outline for future reading. Like many others, I wish I had known about this book when I was in school. I'll be buying a copy for each of my grandchildren as they enter high school.
26 of 27 people found this review helpful