There are countless ways to read a book. This website, however, is primarily devoted to discussing how to read books pervasively; at the edge of your consciousness. In this way I hope to encourage you to strengthen your mind and become more aware and free from the conventional thoughts and myths of your time. However […]
The ground from which all learning grows is sincerity. If you can’t be sincere to yourself and recognize what you do and do not know, what you do and do not understand, what you want to know, the extent to which you know the things you know, that others may know more and simply be […]
In the first stage of analytical reading we found out what kind of book we were dealing with and got a general idea of what it was about as a whole; in the second stage we learned in greater detail what was being said and how; and now, in the final stage, we must ascertain […]
The key to the mastery of any art is twofold: getting down solid fundamentals, and mastering the process. I have often alluded to the Mortimer J. Adler’s process for reading a book for understanding on this site, but I have yet to enumerate exactly what that process looks like. So what follows is just that: the […]
The core component to the act of reading is inquiry; the series of organized questioning (and the attempting to answer those questions) that can lead to increased understanding. Today I will be talking about a specific line of inquiry that I use to cut straight to the core of a book; straight to the value […]
You may see in the chart that Poetry is included under Lyric, which is there to exemplify how each of these categories can be refined even further, all the way down to individual books. The better able you are to categorize the type of book you are reading the better able you will be to recognize what kind of book it is, and therefore the clearer the idea you will have of what kinds of questions and answers you might be expected to deal with when reading it. However, it’s important to note that these categories are just guidelines, and are not to be taken as either prescriptions or exhaustive. It is useful to have a general framework, but books will often fall into multiple categories, or a category of their own — one not included in the above chart. For example, Poetry can belong in Lyric and Epic sometimes, but poems can also be found inside plays, or can be in a category all of their own. There can even be expository poetry (though usually we can just call that bad poetry — an exception to this is Geoffrey K Pullum’s poetic proof Scooping the Loop Snooper).
Our specific purpose in reading a book also influences how we categorize it. This is especially true for Imaginative Literature (i.e., Fiction), since it inevitably includes lots of sociology and history, along with many other elements that could exceed a category like Novel, books that are often written primarily for entertainment. So it’s even more important to know why you are reading a book of Fiction than it is to know why you are reading an Expository book — though, it is important in both cases, that is, if you intend to take what is being communicated seriously.
Today we’ll be dealing with an issue that we all face to greater or lesser extents – our tendency, at least some of the time, to read passively, that is, to allow our minds to become inundated with superficial knowledge that, if it does lead us, it is only by our emotions, with little regard […]
What follows is an article I wrote in Fort Collins, CO back in July 2013 explaining what is valuable in local, independent bookstores: It was my first time in a bookstore smaller than a warehouse, a cozy establishment that used to be in Old Town, but has since closed. I was sixteen, and I admit, […]