I have always been a huge book worm. I was the kid in class who used to get yelled at for texting under my desk, and then would bring up a book instead of a phone. I just couldn’t help myself. My favorite class in high school was my AP English class senior year, taught by one of the best teachers I have ever had, Mr. Bud. This class made me love books I never would have fully appreciated had I read them on my own (Slaughterhouse 5 for example).
Mr. Bud and I used to talk about books all the time, but for all my reading, he always used to nag me about reading more “books of literary merit.” I used to fight him on it, and stuck to my escapist literature for the most part. It’s not that I didn’t want to read classics, I just never had outside of school. I had an association of classic literature and homework, and I read for entertainment. I was intimidated by the thought that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them.
Mr. Bud assigned a project where we had to choose our own “book of literary merit,” and do an old school book report. I chose Pride and Prejudice, because I felt it was an easy intro for reading classics, it was pretty short and non-intimidating, and most readers are big fans. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t love it, but what surprised me the most was that I didn’t hate it. I was able to enjoy myself while reading it, and I felt good when I finished it. This first step into the world of classic literature, opened my mind to the idea that maybe I could actually read classics for fun.
I’ve found that the biggest difference is that I have to really focus while reading a classic, and sometimes on a crowded, noisy subway, or backstage with music and scenes playing over the speakers, it can be hard to do. Because of this, I am still a little hesitant when I feel the urge to tackle a classic book, but I am setting a new goal for myself, and finally marking some off my list. I’m currently giving Jane Austen another try, and I am half way through Sense and Sensibility, which I’m enjoying.
With how much I read, I almost feel like a fraud for how small a dent I have made in my classic literature TBR list. I strive to be well-read, and I am finally understanding what Mr. Bud was trying to get me to do. These books are important, because they are good. I still have mixed feelings about classics in general, but I have found some that I have LOVED, and have become some of my favorite books (Jane Eyre comes to mind). I’ve also found some that I haven’t liked at all, and realized that just because it is considered a classic, does not mean that I have to like it. I might always have a stigma associated with classic literature, but the more of them that I read, the less intimidating they become, and that in itself is a victory in my book.
How do you feel about reading classics? Are they important to you? What are some of your favorites that you would recommend to a classic-newbie? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments! 🙂
12 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Reading Classics”
I’m learning to enjoy classics like you I had a great teacher who inspired me to read more classics. I haven’t read as many as I would like but I’m hoping to chance that. I also agree that clasics take so much longer to focus on that I sometimes chose to read something else instead of a classic. I think I’m going to join the classics club challenge to encourage myself to read more classics. Some of my favorites I’ve read are
To kill a mockingbird
Of mice and men
Alice and wonderland
Oh! What is the Classic Club Challenge? Maybe we should do it together and get some more classics in! I also LOVED Of Mice and Men. It was the first book that ever made me cry. I really like Steinbeck in general actually. East of Eden is one of my favorites.
It’s a blog where varies people have pledged to read classic books I believe the original challenge was to read 50 books in 5 years but you can pick any number of books that you’d like. I believe your suppose to also review them but I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out! I’m still try to come up with a list! https://theclassicsclubblog.wordpress.com/ I haven’t read East of Eden yet. I have it on my tbr though.
oh I love the idea of this!! I am a little intimidated to commit to 50 books, but over a 5 year span, I guess that’s not so bad!
Exactly I jusy made a tbr on goodreads for the 75 classics in 5 years challenge. I’m intimidated bit it sounds fun!
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I haven’t read enough of the classics probably because I’ve read Jane Eyre, my all-time favorite, many times! Actually, I’m just about ready for another reread! A Tale of Two Cities is my second favorite. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. Lexi, I love books, too and I’m so happy we have the love of books and reading in common. As a writer I was thrilled to have my name on a published manuscript and my co-authored book on a library shelf. By the way, Pandy and my second novel is finished and should be released later this year. Hugs, MissD
I LOVE Jane Eyre! I haven’t read A Tale of Two Cities yet, but I will definitely add it to the list! I was just thinking about you guys and telling my friend about your first book! I can’t wait to read the second one!! 🙂
Love your idea! Anna karrenina about Russia. A little confusing with the Russian names but worth it. East Of Eden, GoneWith The Wind, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte all great books
East of Eden and Gone With the Wind are some of my favorites! Anna Karenina has been on my list forever! I really want to read Wuthering Heights but im nervous because it has such mixed reviews. People either love it or absolutely hate it.
hahaha I was the same in school!! And they are a bit more challenging to read- but I find them more rewarding- and like you said, they get easier over time 😀
I’m definitely enjoying them more now that I am older and reading them for choice instead of being made to read them! haha I really want to get into more of them. Any suggestions?