Day 4 in Which I Learned How to Read a Book

Picking up a heavy book and feeling the heft of it in my hands and thumbing through the pages and smelling slighty musty papery pages is bliss to me. Anyone else? #booknerdsunite

But, before beginning to read through each page, it’s good to have an idea of how to understand an author’s meaning. That is the aim of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book.

 

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Mr. Adler does for the art of reading what Sun Tzu did for in The Art of War. He breaks reading a book, down to its most simplistic forms. Take understanding an author’s terms, for example. Adler helps create a reader who is able to mine the pages of a book for all they’re worth by first becoming sure of what an author means by using a specific word in a specific context.

Sound a little too detailed?

It is! But, deliciously so for those of us who adore letters strung together to form words, and words sewn together into sentences.

At 389 pages, this might not be the best beach read. But, with a list of “The Great Books” in the final chapter, it is worth every turn of every page.

Learning how to read a book thoroughly allowed me to see the truth of this quote, from Adler:

“…a good book can teach you about the world and about yourself. You learn more than how to read better; you also learn more about life.”

Yes and yes.

And what’s more, my writing journey began as a reader. It’s true! In fact, my favorite quote from How to Read a Book confirms this (although, I would add that this is true for any of us calling ourselves Writer or Author):

“The great authors were great readers, and one way to understand them is to read the books they read.” 

Ask any author how many books they’ve read. Almost all will say a TON! Maybe not in that exact terminology, but pretty close (and there are some authors for whom I would love to know what their favorite books are!).

So, to sum up:

If writer, then How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler.

If reader, then How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler.

Yes indeedy.

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Did you miss the first three books in my Write 31 Days Challenge? Click the button above, or click here and you can catch them all. Tomorrow, I’m in the pits.

A Little Summer Reading and a Giveaway

Books…I love me some books.  And I’m talking about the real, honest to goodness, Paper And Binding kind. I love to smell those books, fan the pages of those books, and feel the heft of those books as I use them to swat the back-end of a hornet.  Can an i Pad, Kindle, or Nook do that?  I. Think. Not.

We love books so much around here, that we have five full bookcases, in the basement, housing books we’ve read and loved so long that we just can’t bear to part with them.  Oh, yes indeedy! And I’m not even counting the bookcase exploding with books from my elementary teaching days or the books my children have outgrown. I do believe I might have just nominated myself for an intervention.

Now, Sweetman counts textbooks among some of his favorites down in the Basement Library (as we affectionately call it), but he’s crazy like that.  I mean, we’re talking about a man who is reading “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach” by Michael R. Licona.  For fun.  FOR THE LOVE, people!

Below is a “small” stack of books that I hope to get through by summer’s end.  One of these books I’m rereading for inspiration and information.  The rest are all new to me. (And this doesn’t even include “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst, the next Online Bible Study I’ll be participating in  over at Proverbs 31 Ministries!)

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To celebrate the fact that summer is really and truly almost here (the kids only have school for three more days. LORD BE NEAR!), I’m doing my very first giveaway.  All you have to do is leave a comment below with the book you are most looking forward to reading over the summer.  The rest is up to the random picker thingy at random.org.  Easy peasy!  (I’ll close out the giveaway on Friday, June 21st at 6:00 p.m Eastern Standard Time.)

If you’re the lucky commenter, you’ll be sent a copy of “Sparkly Green Earrings” by Melanie Shankle and, “A Little Salty To Cut the Sweet” by Sophie Hudson.  Both of these books are delightful and poignant summer reads – or anytime reads, really. These two first-time authors are also two very funny bloggers, Big Mama and Boomama, respectively.

Sparkly Green Earrings A Little Salty To Cut The Sweet

So, tell me, whatcha’ reading???

Get to sharin’!