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OT/Cross-post: Adult Ed, Brittanica's Great Books of the Western World

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  • melaneesa
    replied
    Sounds great - but aren't the books unwieldy? I try to always have a Great Book "going", but carrying around an encyclopedia seems impractical.

    editing to add more questions...

    Is this your only reading now? I'm not sure what you meant by the reading list treadmill part. Do you mean you've ditched all other reading lists to do this?

    How much time does it take per day or week?

    I'm all for narrowing down the reading list to the best, but I'm still trying to learn Latin --- and Greek is tempting me -- and I committed to a big Bible reading plan this year -- and there's so much modern history I don't know -- and I only have so much study time. So I'm curious if this takes all your personal study time.

    There's a 1954 set listed on CL near me for $80 (OBO). I do love the idea!
    Last edited by melaneesa; 04-08-2019, 02:48 PM.

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Plastic wrap!? Winner!

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  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    Some people have shipping north of 100...I like the look of the 1952 set, but found someone local with a set from the early 80s still in the plastic wrap in the original shipping boxes.

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Dorinda,
    Yes, they added some volumes along the way adding up to 60 volumes in 1990 and changing out a few of the titles. I have 54 volumes from the 28th printing in 1986. I got them for $200/no shipping since she was already driving right by my exit a few days after I purchased them! They had been offered for $400 and I just offered half right out of the gate. Before I had been picking them up at my local used mega-bookstore for $3-5/volume. The cheapest I could find volumes 2 & 3, the two volumes of the Syntopicon, were $75! That's when I decided to make a new plan of attack. My edition year has nice thick pages which are easy to mark up (avid book marker here). It was Christmas/birthday money well spent.

    Fun fact: If you'll watch the MP Facebook live videos you'll often see volumes from this set in the background.

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  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    So what were you able to get the set for? Any content differences between publication years?

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  • Mom2mthj
    replied
    I had never heard of them before you started this thread. Seeing them makes me want them as well. Not sure where I would put them...who’s kidding, that has never stopped me before from buying more books ;-)

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Awesome, Katie!

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  • Katie
    replied
    Thanks for the advice, Jessica! I just scored the full 54 vol. set off of Ebay! The seller accepted what I thought was a silly low offer. Yay!! I love the idea of my kids being able to have these for reference. Nothing like a big stack of old books.

    Now I'll have to buy another bookcase. Eek. Didn't think of that. Our others are full. (Thank goodness we are finally in our "forever" home. Those book boxes are the hardest darn boxes to move!)

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	111176 Read with me, Katie! I've started year one because... where do you start? At the beginning, that's where.

    I had been collecting the books one by one for the last few years and had a hodge-podge "set" of 33 mismatched volumes. However, as I searched for several in particular I found they were super expensive, specifically volumes 2 & 3 which are Mortimer Adler's "Syntopicon." Those two volumes alone are a masterpiece. They are 102 great ideas traced through every book in the set. It's a pre-Google marvel of cross-referencing which came from deep and earnest scholarship and love for the texts. Imagine searching all the sub-nuances of "justice" from Homer to Freud. It's stunning. You can get lost in there (to reference Martin's newest Letter From the Editor.)

    Once I realized how costly it would be to fill in all my missing volumes I switched to hunting for a compete set. I scored a very affordable complete used set this winter from a lovely Kentuckian on Facebook Marketplace. It turns out these sets are sitting on many people's shelves and no one is reading them, so they are being sold as sets online. (Tip--make people an offer. My seller took half of what she was asking when I told her I wanted them for actual reading!)

    There are multiple ways to approach the reading, but I'm following the plan in the back of volume 1 that lays out 18 selections per year for ten years. Each year assumes you've completed the previous year's reading. Each year's readings get longer and ask more of you.
    Here's what I've learned after 2 months: keeping up with "what are you reading?" lists (especially in classical ed circles) are seriously disabling me from getting around to the source material for all the authors and books I really admire. I actually just thanked Cheryl Swope today for encouraging us to read the ancients at Sodalitas 2016. I can still remember her reading from her dog-eared paperback of Plato. Of course I was slack-jawed in awe at that moment but her point was precisely that they are so accessible, often much more so than modern writing about them. That's exactly what I am finding as well. Here's an additional insight: I am getting more out of what I'm listening to (podcasts or talks) because I'm catching the direct references to the ancients. So in a weird way I've stepped off that reading list treadmill and yet found myself further along!

    Who knows how long I'll be able to stay with it, but you don't finish unless you start. Make haste, slowly.

    (Bonus prize: my kids are starting to use them as reference books, especially my oldest in Traditional Logic 2. Now I'm thinking that each kid may need a cheap set for college. Who needs a laptop? Give that child 50 pounds of hardbacks to haul to their dorm!)
    Last edited by pickandgrin; 04-05-2019, 10:28 PM.

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  • Katie
    replied
    Not me...but you sparked my interest and I just searched for the plan. I love this idea. I could work through the whole list before my youngest graduate.

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  • OT/Cross-post: Adult Ed, Brittanica's Great Books of the Western World

    I'm getting crickets on the 9-12 board so I'm crossposting here:

    Did some of you at one time talk about the 10 year reading plan through this Great Books set? I thought I remembered someone asking long ago. If yes, please PM me. I'm trying to figure out who it was and my keyword searches have come up dry.
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