Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Classics or Bust

I have challenged myself to read 75 books this year. Last year my goal was 50 books and I managed to surpass that by a few. I have no doubt that i will complete my current goal.When looking back at my reading lists though, I am not satisfied.

One of my friends posted online that she couldn't wait for the Jane Austen festival and mentions her love for classic lit. Then I come across a list of 100 great books that everyone should read and I've read basically nada from that. Classic literature is so accessible, especially since so much of it is public domain. There's an app for that, right? Yep.

I downloaded one simply called FreeBooks and it has hundreds of books - all for free. (What, did the title give that tidbit away?) While this initially made me giddy, I have yet to really delve down deep.

As i browse, every book title has me saying, "Meh, yeah, I don't know", especially when I click on info and all I get is a date published. That is enough in itself to make me shy away. I've downloaded a few books and even opened one up. Paradise Lost caught my eye, mostly for the artwork and catchy title. I got about 3 sentences in before sighing and closing out the app.

I don't know if it is the language use; the rhythm and flow or my lack of ability to find it. Maybe it's because this type of book was what was forced on us in school with a grade hanging over our heads. Whatever it is, when it comes to the classical literature genre my frustrations win every time.

I can read biographies/autobiographies and historical fiction just fine. I've read The Paris Wife which details the life of Hemmingway and his family, but I can't bring myself to read his actual works.

What is it that makes some people able to embrace the classics while others like myself only feel comfortable reading books published within the last 50 years? Is there a breakthrough novel that would allow to read the classics with new eyes?

I am determined to chug through and keep trying to find a personal connection to the books are so highly revered. I want to be able to honestly tell my son when he's in school that yes, he should read those books, but mom has read them and they're worth it.

1 comment:

  1. As for classics, read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, its actually quite good and an easy read. And I'm sure you've already read Animal Farm.... I've got a couple of other titles for you, you need to read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Theres always Game of Thrones books and the Dark Tower series but they will take you some time. There was another one that I had on here earlier and now I can't remember... Ill msg you when it comes back to me