I have no doubt that what are called the “great books” should be read. I read Plato and Aristotle every semester with increasing awe.
But the reading of great books does not do the trick, if I might call it that. What does the trick are books that tell the truth. And usually these books are very difficult for a student to come by. They are “notes from the underground,” to steal a phrase from Dostoyevsky.
Thus, Another Sort of Learning
contains many book lists. Most of the works recommended are relatively short. It is not all that difficult to get at the truth, once you know where to begin. Universities are not a total waste of time, but most graduates earn degrees while remaining confused about the ultimate things. About these latter things, little is to be found in most universities. Still, graduates have their whole lives ahead of them, if they can read.
Fr. James V. Schall on “Another Sort of Learning” (The Catholic Thing October 9, 2009 )