St Ignatius' noble aim to encourage pupils at Jesuit schools - by stimulating their interest in learning - to look for the highest values was circumscribed by so many restrictions that in the late 16th century scholarly curiosity was rejected in favour of the virtue of discipline and obedience to the superiors. This tendency was reflected in a little treatise by Antonio Possevino (SJ), Cultura ingeniorum, and in Biblioteca selecta (1593) of which the former was an integral part. The author of the present article brings back the figure of Antonio Possevino and presents his views on reading and on compiling library collections. Possevino called for books read by pupils to be limited only to those that complied with the Catholic faith and the needs of the post-Tridentine Church. His work was marked by religious zeal, erudition and logical argumentation, which is why it became useful for teachers at Jesuit colleges.