Last month, I came across this wonderful DVD with talk-style seminars by Mortimer Adler and Charles van Doren about how to read a book. This DVD was produced by Encyclopedia Britannica probably as a companion to How To Read A Book – the actual book by that title. But it got lost and found only in recent years.
You can watch a clip here or here so you get an idea what to expect. Mortimer Adler and Charles van Doren are sitting at a table discussing how to tackle books and why. If you read the book you should also get the DVD. If you have not read the book, you should get the DVD, especially if you are not 150% psyched about reading a book about how to read books. The DVD contains the same information as the book, but it reinforces it in conversational style.
The two men discuss the reasons for reading and explain how to read The Great Books – the best collections of ideas produced by Western civilization. They break down the types of reading a person can do: for pleasure, information, fun, entertainment, or for a challenge etc.
The books that are tough for you to read, those that are above your level, those that make you scratch your head – you should be happy when you find something like that. If you only read what you can grasp, how can you grow? How can you stretch and reach higher than where you are? This is a great point especially for home educators.
The DVD is almost three hours long and each section is about 15 minutes long. About. Watch it when you need to put your feet up for 10-15 minutes. Or, if you have a walking desk like I do, watch it while you walk on the treadmill, with the laptop on the treadmill desk and ear buds. The sound of the treadmill drowns out the two learned men and their civilized tones so ear phones are in order.
FYI, Charles van Doren is smoking cigars throughout the seminars – not continuously, but here and there. Just so you know and prepare your children ahead of time, if you plan on watching it with them. Of course, you can always pause the DVD and talk about the dangers of smoking briefly. You can tell this DVD was put together before the 70s, when we got a bit smarter about how deadly smoking actually is.
This is a DVD for adults and older children, at least middle school age and up. The price is $29.95 and, again, you can get it here. This is not an affiliate link, by the way. I just like the product and thought I should give you a brief description of it.
I received a free copy of it in exchange for my honest review. The opinion expressed here is my own. I am disclosing it in accordance with FTC regulations.