Reading the Classics

Going through school, you get the impression that in order to be a fan of reading you need to enjoy the classics. Everyone reads Shakespeare, Chaucer, and other classic writers in school. To some, they’re awesome. To others, they’re an absolute bore. I wish I loved reading Shakespeare but I can’t say that I do. I can appreciate what he’s written but I’m not going to be curling up with a paperback copy of Hamlet.

There are other “classics” that I really enjoyed. To Kill a Mockingbird was great. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe is fantastic as are his many other works. Aside from the obvious classics taught in schools, you have Dickens, Faulkner, Dostoevsky, and other great novelists who are considered prime examples of literature who may not be all that old. I picked up novels by Charles Bukowski I look forward to reading such as Post Office and Factotum. There are plenty of great examples of literature from around the world that could spark anyone’s interest.

I like reading novels. I don’t like reading plays or a lot of the “classic” works because they’re boring, long-winded, and often times difficult to read. I like something that grabs and keeps my interest throughout the story. I’m not a fast reader so I have to commit time to a book and if it’s boring, I’ll stop reading it before I’ll push through just for the sake of it. Not everyone loves every book they come across and life is too short to read stuff you don’t like because there are too many books and too little time.

Reading some classic literature is necessary because it’s good to have that knowledge of how far reading and writing has come. It also gives us great insight into our past and the lives of the people we came from. At the end of the day, you need to enjoy what you’re reading or you’ll simply stop. If you like Danielle Steele novels, read them. If you like Nicholas Sparks, read him. If you like being scared out of your wits by Stephen King, then by all means, read any of his works of suspense. Read what you enjoy so you can pass it on to the next generation and spark their love of reading. Imagine how much you could experience if you took the time to live a story through someone else’s eyes.

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