To do this, we must learn how to read books for their core ideas and for their system-defining function.
Mastering any set of foundational ideas makes it easier to learn other foundational ideas.
Skilled readers do not read blindly, but purposely. Their purpose, together with the nature of what they are reading, determines how they read.
They read in different ways in different situations for different purposes.
This requires the active use of intellectual skills.
It requires command of the theory of close reading as well as guided practice based on that theory.
To read well requires one to develop one’s thinking about reading and, as a result, to learn how to engage in the process of what we call close reading.
Students not only need to learn how to determine whether a text is worth reading, but also how to take ownership of a text’s important ideas (when it contains them).
We may simply enjoy the ideas that the text stimulates in us.
This is fine as long as we know that we do not deeply understand the text.