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Study guide for How to Read a Book...

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I found this the other day. I didn't bookmark it, only .pdf. So we'll see if it transfers...


Posted by Lesley on 16:06 Jul 7

In Reply to: Mortimer Adler's "How to Read a Book" study guide???? posted by Jackie H.

I'm not sure where I got these, but here you go.


Adler s How to Read a Book,

Study Questions 1-7

Part I: Chaps. 1-5

1. According to Adler, what is the purpose of this book?

2. What are the four types or "levels" of reading, according to Adler?

3. What age-levels of instruction require "remedial instruction," even in elementary

reading, in the American educational system today?

4. The first time through it, how does Adler recommend reading even the hardest book?

5. What advice does Adler give for learning to read faster?

6. The analytical level of reading asks: "What does it mean?" In your own words,

what are the four stages of analytical reading?

7. Which of Adler s half dozen suggestions about "how to make a book your own" seem

most helpful to you?

Study Questions 8-15

Part II: Chaps. 6-12

8. What lies "hidden between the covers" of every book, according to Adler?

(Clue: his metaphor for "outline.")

9. What does Adler consider "the heart" of an author s communication: "the most

important thing an author has to say?"

10. What must you be able to say, honestly, before you can criticize a book fairly,

according to Adler?

11. After reading a book and understanding it, what are the three conditions which

a reader should meet before stating his or her disagreement with the author?

12. What are four ways to criticize a book "fairly," according to Adler?

13. According to Adler, what are the "Great Books" and what do they provide for

readers today?

14. Should commentaries be used before or after reading a new book? Why?

15. What critical information is usually omitted from encyclopedias?

Study Questions 16-25

Part III: Chaps. 13-19

16. According to Adler, what should a reader look for when reading a practical book?

17. What is Adler s main advice about how to read stories, plays and poems?

18. What are Adler s suggestions for reading social science (anthropology, economics,

politics, law, education, psychology)?

Part IV: Chaps. 20-21

19. What does Adler mean, in your own words, by "syntopical reading"?

20. What does Adler consider the primary ingredient in "active reading"?

21. According to Adler, what do good books do for us?

22. How does Adler define, or describe, a "good book"?

23. How does Adler define, or describe, a "great book"? How is a "great book" different

from a "good book"?

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