I recently read about a fascinating project embarked on by the American Assembly at Columbia to collect syllabuses from universities across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia/NZ to identify the most often assigned textbooks in university courses.
Looking at this list, made me think back to those days when I sat crunched into a too small seat in a lecture hall listening to a professor orate on political philosophy.
All the books below are available to bundle through Shelfie, so if they’ve been staring at you from your bookshelves, then consider downloading them. In almost all cases, we even have a free version including audiobooks! What’s better than free university readings you can listen to?!
1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk appears on 3,934 syllabi
2. Plato’s Republic appears on 3,575
3. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx appears on 3,189
4. Biology by Neil A. Campbell appears on 3,057
5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley appears on 2,710
6. Aristotle’s Ethics appears on 2,709
7. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes appears on 2,671
8. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli appears on 2,652
9. Oedipus by Sophocles appears on 2,572
10. Hamlet by William Shakespeare appears on 2,395
If you’re in school, no doubt you’ve been assigned a couple of these books, get the free university readings on Shelfie to get a jump on the semester.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Open Syllabus project, check out the New York Times article by Project Director Joe Karaganis and Lead Developer David McClure.