Discussion Posts

Discussion Post: Reading Classics

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! 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Reading Classics

  1. 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
    Macbeth
    Alice and wonderland

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    1. 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.

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      1. 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.

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  2. 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

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    1. 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!! 🙂

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  3. 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

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    1. 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.

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