Melissa Cain Travis

Georgetown University Professor Emeritus, Father James V. Schall, authored a marvelous book entitled The Life of the Mind: On the Joys and Travails of Thinking. Just the title was enough to give me shivers of anticipation when I first read it on a doctoral course syllabus. I had an inkling of the experience that awaited me, since previously, I had read Fr. Schall’s excellent work, The Order of Things. My expectations were exceeded, and The Life of the Mind is now on my top ten list of most recommended books.

Photo from my personal library--The Great Books of the Western World Photo from my personal library–The Great Books of the Western World

In chapter 2, “Books and the Intellectual Life,” Fr. Schall discusses the importance of creating a bookish culture in the home—investing in a quality personal library (which he offers some guidance on) and thoroughly reading the books one owns with discernment and a spirit of eager desire for knowledge…

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