The classics of literature, worth Pounds 2,500, are being sent in batches of 50 to all schools in the United Kingdom. John Dobie said librarians who snubbed the offer were "preventing pupils from benefiting from this worthy initiative".
The Library Association, however, expressed concern about the lack of choice, the emphasis on books at A-level standard and the lack of titles of particular interest to Welsh and Scottish readers.
The collection ranges from Herodotus to Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene. Everyman said that Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Adam Smith will also feature.