Why Great Books?

Great Books is committed to a quality experience. To that end, Great Books focuses on providing the very best books, discussion rules, leaders and locales where all of the inspired participants can meet and discuss.


The Great Books Foundation provides selections of books both classic and modern works of prose, poetry, and drama from which local discussions and regional institutes draw their materials. This is often supplemented by local choices from significant works of fiction and non-fiction, philosophy, political science, poetry, and drama. For a list of titles of previous institutes visit Philadelphia Fall Institute ReadingsPhiladelphia Great Books Council Spring Institute Readings and Great Books at Colby.

Discussion Rules

Great Books espouses a unique set of rules to help keep discussions fair for everyone. These include rules for leaders as well as group participants. For details, read about the Shared Inquiry method.


The regional institutes are held in Lichfield, Connecticut, the Poconos in Pennsylvania, at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and in New York City and Commack, Long Island. For more information on specific regional institutes, please visit the navigation pages. For other regions, please visit the Great Books Foundation Book Groups and Councils.


One thing is apparent about the Great Books commitment to quality. It draws the most interested and interesting people from around the country into the discussions. These thoughtful adults and children (at the Junior Great Books camp) enjoy lively discussions of the stimulating texts.


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