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. Continue reading