New? Read My Introduction


About The Project

Four years ago, I started this site to organize my reading. The list started as about 20 classic novels that I had always wanted to read and never had time for. Since then, it has expanded into what we see today.

I'm hoping to write short articles about each text, and what I got out of reading it. If you click into a book and see a blank page, that means I haven’t written anything yet. If you’re wondering, why is this mostly empty? It’s mostly a personal reference document that I hope to getting around to filling all the way out. I have a lot of hidden notes on each book that need to be refined. Hopefully, for now, this can have use as a reference document.

Why The Classics?

There were a lot of books I didn’t read during my undergrad, or didn’t read well, and I wanted to go back and give them another shot. To great success! It’s been a very interesting couple of years reading them, and I feel like I have learned a lot about life in the process. Maybe someday this question will get its own page on the blog, but for now there are a lot of better people who’ve written about the classics. I’ll link a few below.

Italo Calvino - Why Read The Classics

Harold Bloom – The Western Canon (PDF)

Bloom, The Western Canon - 1994

David Denby’s, Great Books - 1996

How to read The Classics?

Obviously, the main thing you learn when reading the classics is how to read the classics. I thought I would give some tips here that I picked up that will hopefully help you on your journey.

  • It is against God to read something in abridgment. The abridger wants to alter history in his image. Don’t let an abridgment influence what’s being said! It’s only an extra 1000 pages, or like two weeks of your life. But, what is time, when what you gain is truth.
  • Don’t bother reading introductions. Same principal. Why would you read someone’s interpretation of a book right before you read the book. It’s ok to read the introduction after you’ve read the book, because by then you’ll already know the contents of the book and if the author of the introduction is full of baloney or not.
  • I think it’s important to remember, you can read literally anything. You can read a receipt, you can read an email, you can read a textbook, you can read Hegel. You can read Hegel in German. Might as well get the information straight from the source.
  • In general, why read someone’s opinion about something, when you can have your own opinion about something.
  • About The List

    These books are compiled from Columbia’s Lit Hum, and Contemporary Civilization Classes (part of their Gen Ed program), St. John’s College Curriculum Reading List, and just some random books I’m curious about.

    Additional Information

    Wherever possible, I linked PDF copies of the texts. Project Gutenberg is an excellent resource for public domain books. If you're comfortable with a terminal, I created a bash script that downloads and organizes files from the Project Gutenberg.

    I hope this can be of some interest to you. If you are interested in learning more or have any comments or suggestions, please send me an email at: