How Classics influence my Reading

Growing up I was not always encouraged to read.  MyDad never seemed to put much stock in reading and I rarely was my mum reading, though judging from the bookcase my mum did read, I just never saw it.

As such I was never encouraged to read any of the classics (apart from in school). Even in school a lot of the years we read the same plays or books. If you attended school in the UK you can probably guess the books that we had to read.

  •  Macbeth (our obligatory Shakespeare play, though most years tended to read Romeo and Julitet)
  • Hamlet (yet another shakespeare tragedy)
  • Wuthering Heights (one of the few books I DNFed with no intention of ever picking up again) 
  • The Great Gatsby 
  • Frankenstien 
  • The Death of a Salesman

In a lot of ways I was grateful to be encouraged to read some of the above books and some of the other books that I read in school that I otherwise wouldn’t have such as the Kite Runner. I still have the aim to read one classical book per year as in school that was usually what teachers encouraged.

There are a multitude of reasons for this:

  • The books have been loved by multiple generations
  • There are always other people who have read them allowing you have create conversation (if you are really running out of things to speak about)
  • You get a snapshot of history based around when the book was written

I think often as readers we always gravitate towards books that we know we will love, for good reason. But classics can be more difficult to read than other books and may not always be your cup of tea.  I personally do not think that they should be pushed to one side simply because I don’t like the style of writing, or because the book does not have the modern fast pace that I love.  

So every year I make the effort to read a classic, and some years I stumble across one that I fall in love with, this can help you to open yourself up to an entirely new genre that you previously  wouldn’t have considered simply because you ‘don’t like that’ much like you would say about vegetab;es as a child.  

I have learnt from forcing myself to read one classic per year, that we all need to be adventurous in all areas of our lives, and particularly reading.  So this month lets all read something that is out of our comfort zones. Something that you wouldn’t usually read but you have heard good things about I have listed a few options below for some suggestions

Detective/Mystery –   Murder on the Orient Express

Adult  Fantasy – Lord of the Rings

Historical Fiction – Les Miserables

Horror – Frankenstein

Literatry Fiction  – 1984 

Romance  Pride and Prejudice

Please let me know if this list has inspired you to pick something up that you normally wouldn’t. If you have any suggestions please let me know below.

6 comments

  1. Great post! I agree with you. I didn’t really see my parents reading much growing up and classics are something I have read more as an adult. Love all these picks – Murder on the Orient Express is excellent! I really want to read Les Miserables

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I live in the US, and in high school had to read some of those exact same books: Macbeth (along with three other Shakespearian plays), Great Gatsby, and Frankenstein. In college, during theater appreciation, we did read Death of a Salesman.

    I love the classics- from Lord of the Rings to Les Misérables to Hunchback of Notre Dame to Oliver Twist to David Copperfield to Nicholas Nickleby to Great Expectations to Tale of Two Cities to Don Quixote to Illiad/Odyssey. In the middle of Bleak House now.

    I liked reading growing up- favorite genres are classics and fantasies. Along with mythology, which in some ways is similar to fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also read a number of the books in school, and while as a teen you may not appreciate them, it is a good way for you to work out what you enjoy reading. I think Classics can be underrated as some are difficult to read, but they give you a good excuse to try new genres. Mythology can be very interesting.

      Like

      • Classics may be difficult to read, but they still are incredible.

        Well, in high school, I a little more close-minded when it comes to books. I became convinced I would never love a tragedy.

        I had to learn to like that particular genre the hard way- Les Mis would prove me wrong, but had to give a 2nd chance on that musical film.

        Liked by 1 person

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