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Reading is all about asking the right questions in the right order and seeking answers.
There are four main questions you need to ask of every book:
If all of this sounds like hard work, you’re right. Most people won’t do it. That’s what sets you apart :)
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This is the level of reading taught in our elementary schools. If you’re reading this website, you already know how to do this.
Mortimer Adler literally wrote the book on reading. Adler identifies four levels of reading:
1. Elementary Reading
2. Inspectional Reading
3. Analytical Reading
4. Syntopical Reading
Francis Bacon once remarked, “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”
You can think of analytical reading as doing that chewing and digesting. This is doing the work. Analytical reading is a thorough reading. If inspectional reading is t...
“Marking a book is literally an experience of your
differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.”
We’ve been taught that skimming and superficial reading are bad for understanding. That is not necessarily the case. Using these tools effectively can increase understanding. Inspectional reading allows us to look at the author’s blueprint and evaluate the merits of a deeper reading experience.
The goal of reading determines how you read. Reading the latest Danielle Steel novel is not the same as reading Plato. If you’re reading for entertainment or information, you’re going to read a lot differently (and likely different material) than reading to increase understanding. While many peop...
By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a framework for reading at different levels that you can apply right away.
How We Learn To Read
I bet you already know how to read a book. You were taught in elementary school.
But do you know how to read well?
This is also known as comparative reading, and it represents the most demanding and difficult reading of all. Syntopical Reading involves reading many books on the same subject and comparing and contrasting ideas, vocabulary, and arguments.
This task is undertaken by identifying relevant pa...
• Book summaries, mostly •
This book explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It's masterfully done.
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Reading a book other than for entertainment is to ask the book questions.
There are four key questions you should ask about any book:
It is important to understand the basic structure and content of the text you are reading.
There are four rules to Analytical Reading:
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