How to Read a Book (1972) by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

This work codifies the process by which an individual can choose to read a book. From understanding the purposes of the different sections a book contains, to realizing that you need not always read an entire work to consider it read; How to Read a Book functions as a great resource to better engage with, and extract value from, the books we read by focusing on analytical reading--consuming a single work and the arguments of the author; and providing some closing thoughts on syntopical reading--reading multiple works across a given topic. While this book provides a highly methodical approach to reading a book, recommending a set of rules an individual should follow, it is valuable in the aggregate as well for those who choose not to follow its prescriptive method. Although I read the updated version (1972) of the book originally published in 1940 I was surprised to see that there wasn't another revision in more recent years that made note of any changes to its recommended method in terms of the different formats books now come in. As the focus of this work was on the content of the books we read, and not the shape and forms they take, I shouldn't be too critical of this omission. In short: I wish I had of read this book before starting any post-secondary education.