How to Read a Book!

But do you know how to read really well?

Reading well is what How To Read A Book by Adler is all about.

Adler identified four levels of reading:

  • elementary
  • inspectional
  • analytical
  • synoptical.

Each of these reading levels is cumulative, meaning you can’t progress to a higher level without mastering the levels that come before.

Progressing through the obvious ‘elementary‘ level results in inspectional reading which is an active process that involves a quick skim review in order to evaluate the merits of a deeper reading experience. Analytical reading means engaging your critical thinking to grasp the meaning and arguments presented by the author.

There is a saying that if you read five books on a subject it (almost) makes you an expert. However, how you read those five books will make all the difference. If you read those five books analytically, you will become an expert on what five authors have said. If you read five books syntopically, you will undertake your own critical analysis, which blended with your experience means you develop your own unique perspective or ‘expertise’.

Adler says that reading is an active process and tells us how to read faster while comprehending more, how to find answers to our questions and how to make the right kind of notes.

» Action: Learn how to read really well.