Online Book Lists and Resources


Great Books Lists

Robert Teeter’s Great Books Lists
Reproduces numerous lists, including those from Charles Van Doren’s The Joy of Reading, Adler and Van Doren’s How To Read a Book, Philip Ward’s A Lifetime’s Reading, and Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon.

Reading Rat’s Recommended Reading
Combines the results from several different lists of great books into one huge annotated list, with links to reviews, reproductions, and other resources.

Justin Kau’s Greater Books
Combines 40 great books lists into one huge master list. It also contains a useful selection of links to discussions of great books, great books education, classic texts online, etc.


Bookfinding Resources

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with good libraries and used book stores, use them. There’s nothing like browsing among lots of books for giving you a sense of what’s available and what you might want to read. The workers are usually happy to help you find what you’re looking for, and you often end up noticing something even more interesting on an adjoining shelf. Note also that if your library does not have what you are looking for, they may be able to get it for you through a free “interlibrary loan” from another library in the region.

However, you are no longer limited to such local resources. Thousands of used bookstores around the world now list all or part of their inventory online. This gives you a much better chance of finding a particular book. You can then compare the different editions and prices and order the one you want with a few clicks of the mouse. The following are among the websites that offer this type of searching and ordering service:

www.chapitre.com (French)

New books sites such as Amazon.com are also sometimes useful for getting an idea of what is currently available by a particular author. Then you can hunt up a used copy or go to the library. (Unless you are really in a hurry, it is rarely necessary to buy new books. When you do, I recommend patronizing independent stores rather than chains.)

Many classic works are archived on the Web. This is not the most comfortable way to read a long work, but it may be handy for short works, or for browsing or researching (e.g. quickly finding the location and exact wording of a quotation). There are also numerous websites devoted to particular authors. These sometimes provide useful information, but it should go without saying that they are no substitute for reading the books.


Books-to-Prisoners Projects

The following webpage lists volunteer groups in various regions of North America that provide free books to prisoners: https://prisonbookprogram.org/prisonbooknetwork/. These groups deserve your support.


[Other Great Books Lists]

[Gateway to the Vast Realms]