By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Books about Books

Do you like to read about reading or about books? If so, I have two books to recommend.

The first one is How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler. I have enjoyed this book immensely, even though I've never tried to read a book in the way he recommends. What I do get out of it is insight into what sorts of things to look for in a book so that you feel like you are getting more out of it than just a quick read-through provides. It's thought-provoking and a mini-education in and of itself.

The second book is The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. This is a newer book and an easier read than Dr. Adler's book. The subtitle is A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had. It gives some background to the novel, autobiography, history, drama, and poetry, as well as explaining how to read these types of writing and questions to ask yourself about them. (Don't confuse this book with The Well-Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, which is a book about homeschooling children, although I picked up that one, too, as it is very informative for those of us who like to learn all kinds of things.)

Both books recommend having someone with whom to discuss your reading. They also recommend owning the book, if possible, so you can write in it. Neither of these is a requirement, nor would you have to try to follow their whole program or read the particular books suggested. Some would enjoy doing that and some would not. It might be something you would like to try with one book. The thing I am most pleased with in both of these books is the information about what to look for in books and how to formulate an educated opinion of a book.

There are a number of books out there about reading books. It sounds amusing on the surface, but you can learn a lot about what goes into writing different types of books, what questions to ask of the books you read, and much other information.

(Note: I usually link to a page at Barnes & Noble or Amazon when I recommend a book, simply because their pages often have several reviews by both professionals and by readers that you might like to read. These books are available elsewhere or can be purchased used or checked out from the library.)

If you are as book crazy as I am, you might enjoy these.



Blogger Amira said...

I love The Well-Educated Mind. I read through most of the fiction suggestions last year. I need to get mack into it because I loved reading some new books.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Hey thanks! I am in the market for good books right now having received my tax return. I had not considered books about books. Do you know about any books about the books about the the books? :)

5:46 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

And books about books about books about books?! I love to read these things, though. The Well-Educated Mind is an education by itself, without reading the recommended books! I am reading the book through, then I plan to pick one of the categories and at least try this in-depth study. Fascinating!

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I just realized that I ordered the wrong book. I have the one with Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer on Homeschooling. It arrived this week. I am enjoying it. I also ordered the Trivium. Well, although it was not the book that I intended(you tried to warn us), it is very informative. I was an Elementary Education major at one time so I can relate to a lot of what they say. I do feel there are a lot of holes in my classical training. I am glad to have the time to patch up a few holes at this stage in my life. :)

1:43 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Barb, I bought both books while I was at it because I figured the one for homeschooling would have some helpful insights into the education process and how to learn/study, etc. I would recommened getting the other one when you can, but I don't think you've wasted your money. There's good stuff in both!!!

4:56 PM  

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