The question of what, how, and why students ought to read has long been an important topic for scholarly and popular discussion. This question was, for example, at the heart of debates in the United States during the late 1980s and early 1990s over “the canon” and core “Western Civilization” courses. At that time, two broad oppositional groups could be identifi ed. First, there were those who sought to defend a “traditional” program of “Great Books,” concentrating on philosophical works by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche, among others, together with literary classics by writers such as Shakespeare, Proust, Dickens, Milton, Joyce, and Tolstoy. Opposing the traditionalists was a coalition of diverse reformists calling for representation of a wider variety of authors (more women, more authors from ethnic minority groups, and so on) in core reading lists. Although several features of these debates are of ongoing interest to educationists, this chapter concentrates on one theme of particular signifi cance for teachers and students in university settings, namely, the problem of fi nding the correct balance between breadth and depth in reading. This issue will be addressed from a Freirean point of view.