How to Mark a Book Response

Logan Dominic
English Composition I
Ms. Johnson
How to Mark a Book Response
      The short essay titled How to Mark a Book, written by Mortimer Adler, is a detailed explanation about properly annotating books and why it is a very essential tool when reading literature. While many of the points he makes are appropriate and make sense, I cannot say that I agree with all of them, such as how it is necessary to truly understand the concept of the book. There were also smaller, more personal points that I disagree with him on, like pages stuffed with annotations means that you perfectly understand the novel. My feelings towards this work are very mixed overall; recognizing the well-made arguments and questioning the other points that don’t seem to make sense.
      Mortimer Adler pointed out some facts about annotation that do explain why it is an effective technique most of the time. For example, he clarifies that by annotating a novel as you read it, you stay focused on the book and can thus gain a better understanding of its contents. Though novels are made with the intent of providing entertainment and keeping the readers mind active, some of them do not achieve this effect with other readers, and they begin to lose interest as they read on. Annotation can help to prevent this scenario, as the act of writing helps to keep the mind focused and alert. Although Adler describes this concept thoroughly, there are points in his paper that I question the validity of.
        What I could not bring myself to agree with in this essay is Mortimer’s insistence on saying that having a novel where every page is filled with annotations means that the reader has fully understood it. The author seems to be implying that even if a reader made very poor annotations about a book that turned out to actually be wrong in what they thought was the secret meaning or the main moral, they will still have full comprehension of what the book was about. To me, this makes...