Wednesday, May 21, 2008

2 Misc. Insights from Adler's "How to Read a Book"

While reading Mortimer Adler's classic work "How to Read a Book," which treats a topic that might be more appropriately named something like "How to Properly Assimilate and Analyze Information as a Human Being," I came across a multiplicity of insights, two of which I happened to jot down on a sticky note. This morning, while cleaning out my sticky notes, I came across these two insights and decided to post them here.

• "There are no stupid questions" gives way somewhere during the course of one's education to the question "what are the right questions?"

• Higher Education is often more about unlearning than learning.


  1. You have inspired me to keep post-it notes on hand when I read.

  2. We have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos on the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    When we discovered them and how intrinsically edifying they are, we negotiated an agreement with Encyclopaedia Britannica to be the exclusive worldwide agent to make them available.

    For those of you who teach, this is great for the classroom.

    I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:


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