“We are tied down, all our days and for the greater part of our day, to the commonplace. That is where contact with the great thinkers, great literature helps. In their company we are still in the ordinary world, but it is the ordinary world transfigured and seen through the eyes of wisdom and genius. And some of their genius becomes ours. . .” – Mortimer J. Adler
Dr. Adler, notable American educator and philosopher, believed the reading of various forms of classical literature not only the means necessary to instill students with the skills to become excellent life-long learners, but also the means to be fully engaged citizens. He collaborated with the University of Chicago to develop a course rich in the Great Books of the Western canon for the purpose of helping adults fill in the gaps of their education; to render the reader as an intellectually rounded participant in humanity, and knowledgeable of the great ideas developed in the course of three millennia.
Schmaling will have some of these Great Books on display upstairs in the fiction section temporarily, while many others may be found in the non-fiction section (literature: 800 – 900). There are also gobs of lists available on the interwebs swollen with reading suggestions to aid you in this venture. Here are a couple to get you started: