@amit's notes

How to Read a Book




the process whereby a mind, with nothing to operate on but the symbols of the readable matter, and with no help from outside,I elevates itself by the power of its own operations. (Location 222)

The Greeks had a name for such a mixture of learning and folly which might be applied to the bookish but poorly read of all ages. They are all sophomores. (Location 278)

Discovery stands to instruction as learning without a teacher stands to learning through the help of one. (Location 285)

Francis Bacon once remarked that “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Reading a book analytically is chewing and digesting it. (Location 383)

In tackling a difficult book for the first time, read it through without ever stopping to look up or ponder the things you do not understand right away. (Location 611)

It is not the stretching that tires you, but the frustration of stretching unsuccessfully because you lack the skill to stretch effectively. (Location 770)

writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author. (Location 783)

Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. (Location 784)

There are all kinds of devices for marking a book intelligently and fruitfully. (Location 788)

- Note: Ways of notetakeing

The analogy is almost perfect. A good book, like a good house, is an orderly arrangement of parts. Each major part has a certain amount of independence. As we will see, it may have an interior structure of its own, and it may be decorated in a different way from other parts. (Location 1160)

To recognize this is to learn what it means to say that there are only a small number of plots in the world. The difference between good and bad stories having the same essential plot lies in what the author does with it, how he dresses up the bare bones. (Location 1186)

If the author uses a word in one meaning, and the reader reads it in another, words have passed between them, but they have not come to terms. Where there is unresolved ambiguity in communication, there is no communication, or at best communication must be incomplete. (Location 1440)

When you find an author telling you how a particular word has been used by others, and why he chooses to use it otherwise, you can be sure that word makes a great difference to him. (Location 1567)

you have to discover the meaning of a word you do not understand by using the meanings of all the other words in the context that you do understand. (Location 1593)

Those who cannot say what they like about a novel probably have not read it below its most obvious surfaces. (Location 2917)

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How to Read a Book