Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: mortimer j adler

How to Read a Book #1

Ok, I’ve decided something. I’ve been posting quotes from the books I’m reading to social media, Instagram mostly, and I just can’t do it anymore. Long story. Still working on how to explain my issue there. I’m going to try something else for a while.

For the rest of the month of May, each time I sit down with the book I’m reading, I’m going to pull something out from those pages and write about it here. No pretty graphics, no trying to get a good keyword, no SEO stuff, just me thinking back on what I just read. I may post more than once a day this way, and some days I won’t post at all.

I’m almost to the end of How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler, so I’ll be jumping to the end pretty quickly. Going back to the beginning of the book and summarizing just isn’t my style. I may do some of that for my last post about each book I read, but for right now I’m jumping in right where I am.

“…’purism.’ This is the error of supposing that a given book can be read in only one way. It is an error because books are not pure in character, and that in turn is due to the fact that the human mind, which writes and reads them, is rooted in the senses and imagination and moves or is moved by emotions and sentiment.”

How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler

Every book we read has so much inside it and so much we bring to it, that every reading is different. It’s like a friendship. You meet in elementary school, and then again in high school or college. Years later, you happen to run into each other at the airport or the grocery store. You are years older, so much has happened, that you feel like strangers. Maybe you meet again at your high school or university’s 40th Reunion and it’s all different again.

There is no one way we meet an author through their work.

How To Read A Book: New Read

Four straight months of daily posts, you guys. That’s a personal record. And now I’m facing a dilemma. Do I keep going? Part of me loves habits, the other part loathes them.

Should I keep writing daily? Yes, I believe so, but what? Posting about what I’m reading doesn’t seem to be catching anyone’s eyeballs or interest, but it is what I love and that’s why I started this blog in the first place. I wanted to share my daily thoughts about the books I read. I learn more than what the author originally intended when I read. Every book I read triggers new ideas and memories, links one thought to another, and pushes me forward. How do I do a better job of conveying those ideas here?

Should I change my posting schedule? For the past four months, I’ve been posting every day what I wrote that morning after I read. It’s more of a stream of consciousness, triggers, and reactions, than planned thought and ideas. I don’t know what I’ll end up telling you every day. Is there a way to change that?

Should I take some time off from posting completely, but keep writing daily? THAT is what I think I’ll do in May. I’ll keep reading and writing every day, and then work toward a more manageable posting schedule to start in June. For the month of May, I would like to commit to one post a week to keep myself accountable though, I’m just not sure what that post would entail. Maybe only posting when I start or finish a book?

So, my faithful reader, you may not hear from me much the next few weeks, but rest assured, I am not dead.

how to read a book

I’ll leave you today with the book I began reading yesterday, How to Read A Book: The Art of Getting a Liberal Education by Mortimer J. Adler. This author was a bit of hero of mine when I started homeschooling 18 years ago…sheesh, I just said that, scary. I first heard of him when I heard Oliver DeMille speak at my first homeschool conference. That presentation changed the way I looked at education and how I ended up educating my kids and myself.

Reading great books was the basis of our whole system. No curriculum, no testing, no writing essays or answering detailed questions. We simply read books, any and all books, together every day. We talked about them, questioned the story and what the author intended, looked up words we didn’t know. We found other books (both fiction and non-fiction), movies, and documentaries, related to what we were reading. And we learned so much.

I found this book in a friend’s collection of giveaways and saved it for myself. I’ve decided to read it now because I feel like I need a reminder of why I read, and a refresher course on how.

Sitting here, writing this, I’m not sure where I’m going, both with my reading and this blog. And writing? Well, I’m not sure that’s my main focus anymore. I just don’t know. What I need is some quiet focus time and I’ve never been very good at that.

Do I need a goal, a reason to write here? Do I need a purpose at all? I’m not sure that I do. Can’t my reading and writing follow my interests the way my mind and heart always has? It seems to have served me well this far.

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