How To Read a Book with Mortimer J. Adler and Charles van Doren. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. DVD. ISBN: 978-1-61535-311-8. Can be purchased from The Great Ideas, 106 W. Germania Place, Chicago, IL 60610. $24.95 dollar donation.
Three years after writing the third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles van Doren did a series of 14 minute discussions on the book. Somehow these videos were lost. In 2008 it was published again. Many will be thankful for access to these interviews. The interviews are now on one DVD and can be purchased from The Great Ideas organization. This DVD is a great supplement to the book. The interview shows Adler and Doren "in a lively, candid discussion of the art of reading and why it is so important and demonstrating its use in their own reading.
The video is entertaining and informative. It is good to be able to see an author who you have read having a conversation on the art of reading. It is quite funny in parts and I mean this in a positive way. I enjoyed watching these conversations. For example, Adler and Doren tell the reader not to throw away the book just because it is over your head. That is the type of book you want because it causes you to grow. The interviews cover similar points made in the book, like "How to keep awake while reading," "Coming to terms with the author," "Talking back to the author." and others. The important difference between the video and the book is the book emphasizes non-fiction works while the videos includes novels, poetry, and plays. Doren's field is imaginative literature and Adler's is non-fiction works, especially philosophy. They end the sessions with asking the listeners what ten books would they take with them if they would be stranded on a deserted Island and can take only ten books with them. What books would you bring?