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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Why You Should Read Classics (even if you think you hate them)

I used to despise classic books. Like non-fiction, they just seemed boring. But one summer (I was about fourteen or fifteen) I picked up a cheap $6 copy of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Barnes & Noble and I was blown away. A couple years later, and it's still my favorite book.

From then on I bought the cheap classics at B&N whenever I had any babysitting money. It was torture having to pick between The Lost World and Wuthering Heights. I discovered the magical world of Five Children and It, the sad but beautiful tale of Jane Eyre, and life in the jungle with Swiss Family Robinson. The summer I turned sixteen I discovered Jane Austen. Wowzers.

The great thing about classics is that their is a wide variety. You have romance, steampunk, sci-fi, fairy tales, pirates, jungles, dinosaurs, shipwrecks and on and on. They even came out with modern editions of classic books to appeal to today's Twilight fans.

And whimisical covers for book lovers of all ages.

And then there are re-written, easier to understand classic books. I hate those with a passion. Don't mess with a best seller that has stood the test of time. When you chop it up, you take away the magic, the whole reason it was so popular in the first place.

Read any classics lately? Love or hate them?


need2read said...

I have read a few classics, Great Expectations is the first one that comes to mind. I read it in 9th grade and I hated it. It seems every classic is boring. Sometimes the plot is good, but the details are too drawn out. I also hate the 'easy' classic versions. I read one of those for Pride and Prejudice and it was terrible. I'm sure that I would think the original is boring, too, but it would be better than the butchered version!

Paris said...

I've never read any thing by Charles Dickens except Oliver Twist (It was surprisingly funny). I just can't get into his other stuff. I read the "easy" version of P&P when I was younger (hated it) and it ruined the real one for me when I was older because I already knew what would happen.

I recommend not reading classics until one catches your interest or you think it looks interesting. I read a book (Jacob Have I Loved) once that I hated, but I read it anyways for school. Then I reread it when I was older and LOVED it. If you start reading a classic and hate it, just stop reading it and pick it back up in a couple years. You might end up liking it!