Here is a particularly insightful paragraph from Chapter one on this book, How To Read A Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, that discusses how to read a book for greater understanding:
"The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements-all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics-to make it easy for him to "make up his own mind" with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and "plays back" the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think."
"...it is obvious that teaching is a very special art, sharing with only two other arts-agriculture and medicine-an exceptionally important characteristic. A doctor may do many things for his patient, but in the final analysis it is the patient himself who must get well-grow in health. The farmer does many things for his plants or animals, but in the final analysis it is they that must grow in size and excellence. Similarly, although the teacher may help his student in many ways, it is the student himself who must do the learning. Knowledge must grow in his mind if learning is to take place."