Rewards of Reading Good Books

I thought I’d kick off this blog with the words of Mortimer Adler (1902-2001), a prominent philosopher and public educator, perhaps best known for promoting the “Great Books” program. These are from his classic work, How to Read a Book (Touchstone, 1972), which everyone could benefit from reading, no matter how good of a reader you think you are:

“A good book does reward you for trying to read it. The best books reward you most of all. The reward, of course, is of two kinds. First, there is the improvement in your reading skill that occurs when you successfully tackle a good, difficult work. Second – and this in the long run is much more important – a good book can teach you about the world and about yourself. You learn more than how to read better; you also learn more about life. You become wiser. Not just more knowledgeable – books that provide nothing but information can produce that result. But wiser, in the sense that you are more deeply aware of the great and enduring truths of human life.”

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