What’s the blog about?

My pitch: “Embark on an intellectual odyssey through the timeless masterpieces that have shaped the Western world. As I traverse the profound landscapes of The Great Books of the Western World, I share my reflections based on a snippet from a chapter and responses from AI chatbots to my reflections.”


My intensity of reading has waxed and waned over time, and what I’ve realized is that I read consistently if I have someone to talk to about the book or the chapter that I’m reading. I started writing notes on my blog to kind of fill this void. But it was, in a way, one-sided, though I did get occasional comments from some friends.

After ChatGPT was made public, I tried it and was pleasantly surprised by the eloquent and erudite answers. Wow! it felt like a new era of interacting with the Internet. The feeling of serendipity of discussing random things on a Yahoo! chat in the 90s.

I embarked on a project to start reading The Great Books during my parental leave in 2023. It was something that I wanted to do after retirement, but I decided that now was a time better than later.


I’m trying to read at least a page every day and post something over the weekend. Many ideas come to mind, and I pick up one. The goal is to pick up a passage and tie it to some life lesson. Since I’ve worked in the corporate world for over a couple of decades, most of my thoughts may be around leadership, people interactions, trust, etc. I’ve seen this process used so many times by priests and preachers using The Bible. For e.g., the sermons during the Great Lent are always around the miracles - healing of the blind, leper, etc. and every year, the sermon seems to be different. It is possible for different people to read the same text and have different insights. Well, it is possible for the same person to reread the text and get a different idea.

The Great Books are great because they have been read and reread by countless people, and there is already a lot of data that the LLMs might have. So when I put my ideas into a prompt and ask for discussion, I do get fantastic responses. I hope you read a few of them and see how great they are for yourself.

Why Paid?

I thought a bit about whether to make this fully free or paid. I decided to make the archives (posts > 60 days) paid. My reasons:

  1. To be fair to Substack, since I’m using the platform.

  2. Being behind a paywall might mean that it may not get indexed by search engines and LLMs. Since most of the LLMs are trained on user data from the Internet, there is some debate about them being trained on the data they create.

  3. Having a few paying customers might be a great motivation to continue this over the next decade (yes, it could take a decade to finish all of The Great Books).

So, if you subscribe, you will get the posts via email, and that is free. It is only the archives that are paywalled.


If you’re interested in subscribing to updates, simply click the button below and let’s stay connected!


After I finished reading The Iliad, I took all the Substack posts and converted them into an ebook and published it on Amazon. It was something that was on my mind for a long time, and this was an easy opportunity.

It was great to get it done on May 31st since that is a key date for me personally.

Creating the ebook was a bit tougher in the beginning since the formatting options on kindle create were limited, but in retrospect, I think it was good. I hope I can do more of it as I read.

The books are also an option for someone to read the contents without subscribing.

Subscribe to A Bibliophile's Odyssey: Reading The Great Books

Exploring the Great Books of the Western World by Encyclopædia Britannica. Reading each book slowly (few pages per week) and posting thoughts related to contemporary issues. Also posting the thoughts on AI chatbots to get a response.


It is the best of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the season of light, it is the spring of hope.