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.