The 62nd Annual Great Books at Colby Summer Institute

July 22–28, 2018
Location: Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Costs: $670
Who Should Attend: Anyone who loves books, enjoys discussing them with others, and seeks an inexpensive, intellectually stimulating vacation.

Join our annual week of lively discussion at Colby College. We are a community of people who enjoy reading and discussing Great Books. Have you ever closed a book after reading the last page and wished you could share your thoughts with someone? This week offers an opportunity to collaborate in discovering insights rarely achieved just reading alone. Located on a beautiful campus, Colby features a great library, an excellent Museum of Art, tennis courts and first-class athletic facilities with an indoor swimming pool, as well as waterfront property at a nearby lake open to our participants. This is an inexpensive yet elegant vacation where readers who love to think and talk about the world's great literary works can derive pleasure from spending time with others who share that enthusiasm. For two hours each day, readers discuss their understanding of thought-provoking classics through the Great Books Foundations' Shared Inquiry Method.  Our theme this year is Woes of Wooing!  In matters of the heart "the course of true love never did run smooth". Join us in examining how these great writers explore family relationships.


Adult Reading
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrow of Young Werther
Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
Choderlos de Lacios, Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Penelope Fitzgerald, The Blue Flower
Philip Roth, Goodbye, Columbus

2018 Junior Great Books Readings

Younger Group
Lindsay Mattick, Finding Winnie
Jean George, My Side of the Mountain
Peter Brown, The Wild Robot
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Middle Group
Lauren Wolk, Wolf Hollow
Sharon Creech, Love that Dog
Scott O'Dell, Sing Down the Moon
Pam Munoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

Older Group: 
Lauren Wolk, Wolf Hollow
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
F. Scott Fitzgerald, Diamond as Big as the Ritz
Meg Kearney, The Secret of Me: A Novel in Verse

The adult registration of $670 covers books and discussions, as well as lectures, films, group social activities, use of athletic facilities and tennis courts, and a real Maine lobster bake. On-campus registration includes a single or double dormitory room (six nights: Sunday through Friday) and all meals. You can stay over Saturday night either before the week (July 21) or after the week (July 28) for an additional charge. Either night allows you to attend the Atlantic Music Festival's outstanding free classical music concert. We also offer a Children's Program for ages three and above. Commuters participate in all activities, but live on their own, off-campus, and receive lunch each day and the Friday night lobster bake.

Application and Refunds: A deposit for each person is required with an application, one half of which is refundable for cancellations received before July 10, 2018. The balance is due at registration on Sunday, July 22, 2018. We accept credit cards, as well as cash and checks. Books and additional information are mailed after November upon receipt of your initial deposit, usually within two to three weeks, so that you can read beforehand. Our last day for registration is June 30, 2018.

Optional Saturday Nights to Attend the Atlantic Music Festival's Concert:  Extra nights: Saturday, July 21st ($90, lodging, dinner, breakfast and lunch) or July 28th ($85, lodging, dinner and breakfast).  Concerts are free.  Please prepay for additional nights with your registration deposit.

Besides registering online above, you can also register by mail.  Click HERE to download a registration form.  Mail it to the address immediately below:

Contact Information

Great Books Summer Institute at Colby
P.O. Box 424
Newtown Square,
PA 19073

Arrival:  Sunday, July 22, 2018

1:30-6:00 p.m.:  Registration - Cotter Union (rooms will be available at 3:00PM)
5:30 p.m.:  First Meal
8:30 p.m.:  Welcome Reception

Daily Discussions:  9:30-11:30 a.m.

Monday: The Sorrows of Young Werthur, pp. 21-134.
Tuesday:  A Lover's Discourse, pp. 1-234.
Wednesday: Antony and Cleopatra, pp. 1-147.
Thursday: Les Liaisons Dangereuses, pp. 1-406.
Friday: The Blue Flower, Table of Contents - p. 282.
Saturday: Goodbye, Columbus, pp. 1-136.

Special Events:
Saturday nights, 7/21 ($90) and 7/28 ($85):  Optional overnight attendance for Atlantic Music Festival's free concerts.

Departure:  Saturday, July 28, 2018
11:45 a.m.:  "Hail and Farewell" on the lawn
12:00 p.m.:  Lunch and Departure

Times and locations of other activities for the week, including a lobster bake, films, and the Wachs Works, will be announced at registration.