How to Read a Book

I have gone from being a jock in my youth to being a nerd. From a kid who would barely read Sports Illustrated, because I was too busy playing the sport, to someone who reads six to eight books at a time and needs to be told to go out and play.
I am now reading a book that only a nerd would love, called “How to Read a Book,” by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren. In it, they discuss how to quickly get the jest and the important points of a book and how to determine which ones should be given an analytical reading.
He also makes a great point about human beings. A human reaches his physical potential somewhere between his late 20’s to early 40’s, and then he begins to decline. However, the mind does not decline and goes on growing and maturing until we take our last breath, if we are willing to do the hard mental exercise necessary to continue growth. One of these ways to keep our minds sharp and growing is to read good and challenging literature.
In the appendix, they give a list of the greatest books in history from Homer to the Old Testament to Mark Twain to Leo Tolstoy. Many of these books he admits are over our heads, but still beneficial reading since even if only partly understood they enrich us by their special insight into our world and being a human.

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