Friends of the Aiken Public Library

Great Books Lists

Throughout history, the mark of an educated person was how well read he was. Until the 21st century, it was thought possible to master all knowledge by a careful and thorough reading program. Alas, the goal of learning everything has become impossible. However, all the great ideas in history have been documented, and it is possible to obtain a thorough liberal education by reading the great books of history.

Which books should be on the list is far from a consensus. However, Aiken has an above average number of educated people, many of whom are members of Friends of the Aiken Public Library. We have provided our own list, based on member favorites. In addition, we also provide links to great books lists provided by other reputable organizations. There are many such lists. A few of the best are shown below. Click here if you want to go directly to the Friends list.

Existing Great Books Lists

Friends of the Aiken Public Library List

This list contains the favorites of Friends of the Aiken Public Library members. Each entry also includes a brief description of the book and why it is on the list, and an indication of whether it is held by the library, the level of difficulty, and a link to sources, for download or for purchase. The difficulty is indicated by one of these icons (move the mouse pointer over the icon to see what it means):

Suitable for children ages 4 to 10 Easy to read for anyone over 10 Requires some effort but contains a unique concept or truth Difficult because of writing style or arcane references but effort will be rewarded Difficult, disturbing or unconventional concepts make it a hard read

If one of the books on the list appeals to you, you will want to obtain a copy to read. The following icons are used to indicate availability of a library copy, an electronic copy, or your own copy:

Held by the Library eBook Barnes and Noble Amazon
Go to the Friends List