That dreary, baggy-pants middleman

Along with giving me a firsthand acquaintance with some of the great philosophers, historians, novelists, and poets of the Western world, the elimination of that dreary, baggy-pants middleman called the textbook gave me the confidence that I could read the most serious of books. Somehow it also gave me a rough sense of what is serious in the way of reading and what is not. Anyone who has read a hundred pages of Herodotus senses that it is probably a mistake—that is, a waste of your finite and therefore severely limited time on earth—to read a six-hundred-page biography of Bobby Kennedy, unless, that is, you can find one written by Xenophon.

Joseph Epstein on Great Books education at the University of Chicago in his essay The Bookish Life

Reader John @ReaderJohn
My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler, http://intellectualoid.com.