You're The Voice: Chelsea on reading the classics
Recently I have found myself to be more fascinated by the classics. This was brought about by watching the film (one of many) of Pride and Prejudice. I have always admired the classics but have only ventured to read a few because of the initial vocabulary difference. When I first considered reading Pride and Prejudice, I held back as I was unfamiliar with the words used. Now that I am older I have again considered reading it, and decided that the language is just a momentary barrier to overcome. Once I have done that, I can read whichever classic book I wish. I am also now glad that I didn’t read many before; it means that now I am more mature I can appreciate the story better.
Recently I discovered that, according to a Jenkins Survey, 42% of college graduates will never pick up another book; classic or not. Generally people read books that have been published recently, which means that hardly anyone is reading the classics. I hope to revive some of the classic reading.
Personally I have only read Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, a few short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, part of the Iliad by Homer (which I particularly enjoyed), and a few others. For anyone who does read classics, I believe it is beneficial as you unconsciously absorb the grammar and anything else that you are reading. The morals of different centuries were woven into the classics and as a result of reading it, you improve your own ethics and beliefs. If you are a writer this could give you fresh inspiration as an alternative to the ideas being recycled today, which results in new thinking instead of being repetitive. I think that you can find a lot of wisdom in classic literature. It shows that although the technology was different, some things never change. The way that we interact with people and make our way through life is still the same. Some people may be thinking that they don’t want to go back to reading books that would have been in your English class in school/university, but I think that it can help improve your intellectual abilities.
The classics I have been referring to span over a few centuries, but most of the ones people think of were written in the 1800s. I have found a very long list of recommended books that include that century as well as ones out of it.
I have made a list of books that I have decided I will read, and I hope that you could give me feedback on which classics you have enjoyed. I also hope you have decided to read a classic book. Of course I don’t expect you to read all of them (I probably won’t) but try to read one! I know that I am going to start with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (which isn’t on the above list), followed by A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
[Editor's note: insideadog users can also discuss their favourite classics in our new forum.]