Are you a jaded grad student? Then If on a winter's night a traveler is the book for you. Throughout the novel, Calvino satirizes university education without mercy. Lotaria's political, feminist reading of books is often scorned, contrasted against Ludmilla's innocent desire to simply read for pleasure. Shmoop is all for literary theory and analyzing great books (duh), but we agree with Calvino that there should be pleasure in reading, too. Professor Uzzi-Tuzii gets the royal Calvino mockery treatment, too, because he shuts himself up in a dusty office and studies stuff that no one else care about. Bottom line: no one associated with the university is getting out unscathed in this one.
In If on a winter's night a traveler, Calvino is essentially telling us to torch all of the institutions of higher learning so we can live in a world where we can read completely for pleasure.
Calvino's approach to education in this book is socially irresponsible, since our ability to question what we read is what keeps us from falling under the spell of propaganda.