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Download How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading Audiobook, by Mortimer J. Adler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,148 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mortimer J. Adler, Charles Van Doren Narrator: Edward Holland Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781470825515
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How to Read a Book, first published in 1940, is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader—a living classic. Now it has been completely rewritten and updated.

This book will teach you about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them, from elementary reading and systematic skimming to inspectional reading and speed-reading. Learn how to pigeonhole a book, x-ray it, extract the author’s message, and criticize. The authors offer different reading techniques for various types of books, and finally, a recommended reading list and reading tests for measuring your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This newly revised classic guide to reading comprehension for the general reader offers various techniques for improving and measuring your progress in reading skill, comprehension, and speed.”

    New Yorker

  • “Packed full of high matters which no one solicitous of the future of American culture can afford to overlook.”

    Jacques Barzun, scholar and historian

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrienne Stapleton | 1/20/2014

    " This book discusses the various ways to read different kinds of literature and levels of reading. The book not only helped me to approach reading in various ways, but also gave me permission to scan a work to get a quick understanding of its contents. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane Austen | 1/4/2014

    " Skimmed it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nantapat Suwatcharapinun | 1/3/2014

    " M.J. Adler organizes and structures common sense knowledge on books and reading into a single unit which is not so common. Essential read for the student, teacher, life-long reader... or hell, everyone! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 12/17/2013

    " Reading this book, one has to force themselves to either do as Adler instructs, or to humor him as they do what they've done naturally for years. I fell into the latter of these categories, and while I enjoyed his instructional book, I could not help but feel as if I were wasting my time. What I found in it that I not only enjoyed but "increased my understanding" was a greater message on Adler's philosophy on reading and learning. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pratul | 12/14/2013

    " A complete, systematic and excellently written account of the really valuable art of reading. The text is well-divided into appropriate sections that explain step-by-step and in a very detailed and practical manner, as how to go about reading a book. Also, the way the book is written for contemporary period is very thoughtful of the author indeed. Bonus points to the coverage of the method of reading different kinds of books and to the reading list at the end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 12/13/2013

    " educational, non-fiction: recommend it for the college bound or a person interested in reading the Great Books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/10/2013

    " I enjoyed reading this but 10 years later I don't really follow Adler's advice, so it obviously didn't have a very big impact on me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charity | 12/5/2013

    " It distresses me to realize how few people read. If your friend is entering college and doesn't read quickly and well, I recommend this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shay | 11/4/2013

    " Hands down the clearest book on reading and how to maximize what you read. It has changed the way I read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Miranda | 10/28/2013

    " The information was good, but it was obvious that it was written in a time when people were more patient in the way information was presented. It was really dry and I couldn't stay focused on what I was reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Mellody | 10/20/2013

    " I read this book as an audio book. It is the best book I have ever read and it changed my life teaching me to read by "ideas" not by chapters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dustin | 6/30/2013

    " Exactly what it says on the cover. By the time you finish this book, you will be able to read a book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacob Berry | 3/18/2013

    " Very well done work on how to read a book!! I am now ready to conquer the reading world!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 2/17/2013

    " This is one of the most important books I have ever read. It never goes out of date. It taught me how to read serious non-fiction well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 12/15/2012

    " This is a great book. Encourages readers to focus on improving their reading skills since most readers stay at a 6th grade reading level for most of their lives. The book has some great applications for reading Scriptures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimenez | 12/2/2012

    " This book has given me GREAT advice on how to get the best out of a book. I'm applying the principles of this book to every book i'm reading today. Definitely worth reading! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 3/25/2012

    " A must read before you start reading the classics! Mortimer Adler is my hero. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cesar | 12/2/2011

    " Stumbled upon this classic at a bargain book rack. So glad I found it. It speaks to all avid readers. If you're good, it's really just an affirmation of stuff you already knew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 F. | 5/8/2011

    " This is a classic in the field. I can't really say that I read it cover to cover. It's more of a reference work than a narrative. It also contains an excellent book list. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mark | 4/24/2011

    " one of the worst bits of writing I have seen as well as pretentious and kind of stupid "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shane | 4/19/2011

    " Should have read this 20 years ago when it was listed as optional reading for a class. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deidre | 4/11/2011

    " Looking at this on my shelf the other day. I should revisit this every few years, to remind myself about how to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lily | 4/6/2011

    " This is one of those books I never really finish, but go back to as a reference again and again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 4/4/2011

    " Well, I read the first 150 pages of this book... then I used what it taught me to skim the rest. It's an interesting book but very dry. I don't think I have enough interest to *really* learn to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ana2118 | 3/5/2011

    " changing the way I think about reading.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eel | 2/28/2011

    " this book should be slightly updated and taught in high school. "

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About the Author

Mortimer J. Adler (1902–2001), an American philosopher, educator, and popular author, served as the chairman of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s board of editors, was the founder and director of the Institute for Philosophical Research, and was an honorary trustee and founder of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. He authored the well-known How to Read a Book and the intellectual autobiography Philosopher at Large and was coeditor, with Charles Van Doren, of Great Treasury of Western Thought, declared the Reference Book of 1977 by the American Library Association.

About the Narrator

Edward Holland is an audiobook narrator whose credits include Confessions of a Spy, Vietnam, and How to Read a Book.