Friday, December 30, 2011

To Read Or Not To Read: The Classics

Every New Years I make resolutions like every other person, like most people I follow through with it for about a month, and then I let it go as if it was never a thought in my mind. One of the resolutions that I have been making for the past four years is, reading the classics. As a writer I feel it is my obligation to read the classics, but honestly I'm not a fan. I try to convince myself, try to get through them, but it's like pulling teeth. I have so many classics ranging from Dracula to Uncle Tom's Cabin to Wuthering Heights, sitting on my bookshelf unread. Am I alone?

Right now I am attempting to read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It's going, not well, but it's going. I'm determined to finish it. Though I admit when I finish I may need to watch the movie just to fully grasp it. I'm on chapter four and I don't get it. It's still early and I'm a smart girl (not to toot my own horn or anything) so I'm hoping that within the next few chapters it clicks.

I am fully aware that the classics are not for everybody, but can you blame me for trying? Are you a fan of the classics? If so what are your favorites? If not, what books have you tried to read or forced yourself to get through?


  1. I like to read classic every once in a while. i think it's good to pick them apart to figure out why they became classic. Great post!

  2. I'm catching up on the classics myself (my degree's in Theology, not English Lit!), and of the ones I've read, I seriously recommend JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. Yes, TKAM was published in the 20th century, but it's still a classic, isn't it? I enjoyed A TALE OF TWO CITIES, so I encourage you to persevere!

    Have a great 2012, Theresa!

  3. J.A.: That's exactly why I read them. Some times though I can't figure it out.

    Colin: Jane Eyre is on the list, but I might move it up now. Thanks :) I read To Kill a Mockingbird and loved it but that was so long ago I feel like I would understand it better now. I might reread it and I agree it is a classic. Just have to finish A Tale of Two Cities. It's good to know you enjoyed it.

  4. Hmmm...the classics.

    The last time I read one was my senior year of high school when we were forced to read Hamlet for my AP English class, not once, but TWICE.

    Yes, that's right. In one year we read Hamlet twice. Among many other things...

    I guess I just read what I enjoy. And no offense to the classic people but I don't enjoy their work.

    However... I do plan on reading the Adventures of Huck Finn. (Is that a classic?) Depending on how things go with next WIP might relate to Mr. Mark Twain's story...

  5. Kelley: Hamlet twice! Oh that is awful. Torture. I might force myself to try and read the classics but Shakespeare is in his own category of no thank you.

    Right now as I read A Tale of Two Cities I'm on Sparknotes (my best friend in high school). It's great because they have the original text of the story and next to it rewritten in modern language. I wish I would have thought of this before I got to chapter 5. I'm rereading now.

    And Adventures of Huck Finn is definitely a classic and one that I actually remember enjoying when I was younger. So if your next WIP may relate, I can't wait to see what you have in mind.