Aquinas's Commentary On The Metaphysics

#47- How We Read

how to read a book by mortimer adler 

In this week’s episode, Scott and Karl discuss all things related to reading. Before opening a book, it’s crucial to define your “why” and then your “how.” If you are reading for entertainment, your methods will differ than if you’re reading for enlightenment.

Here at Online Great Books, the first book our members read in the program is How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. Adler has four basic questions a reader should have in active reading: What is this book about was a whole? What is being said in detail, and why? Is the book true, in whole or part? What of it? This method of investigation is our gold reading standard as we encounter Great Books authors from Aristotle to Shakespeare.

But instead of letting Adlerian perfection be the enemy of the good, Scott advises, “Be patient with yourself, allow yourself to be eclectic in your reading style, and let the text be the measure of how well you’re reading.” In this episode, Scott and Karl discuss tools, timing, and note-taking methods as you take on your Great Books list.

True to form, Karl takes notes on things that bother him in the text. What do you take notes on? Tune in and let us know your thoughts!


I bet you already know how to read a book. You were taught in elementary school.

But do you know how to read well?

There is a difference between reading for understanding and reading for information.

how to read a book by mortimer adler how to read a book by mortimer adler how to read a book by mortimer adlerhow to If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to how you read. And how you read makes a huge difference to knowledge accumulation.

If you are interested in starting your journey with the Great Books, use the discount OGBPODCAST to save 25% on enrollment at Online Great Books.


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