Reading Classic Literature

Posted 2014-10-19 by Colleen P Moynefollow
Image courtesy of Marin

We’ve all seen those lists that tell us ‘the ten novels we must read’ and most of them are considered classics. There seems to be a great emphasis on how important it is to be able to read and discuss the great classic novels.

Image courtesy of

Here’s a typical top ten 'must read' list from the internet:

- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Image courtesy of

At the risk of sounding ignorant or uneducated, I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I've attempted to read a few of the most highly recommended ones and really struggled – and for a while I felt rather guilty that I didn't enjoy them. They were classics – everyone should read the classics!

At one stage I even kept them prominently displayed on my bookshelves to give the impression that I had read them, but soon realised that it was a rather pretentious move. Thank goodness no visitors ever asked me my opinion of them!

I can see why these books were considered great in their time but I find them cumbersome and dated. Give me a good Alfred Hitchcock or Agatha Christie any day - to me these are the classics. We all have different tastes in reading and a preference for certain genres. We should read what we love and not what we are told we 'must' read.

Image courtesy of

There may well come a time when books like Fifty Shades of Grey or the Twilight series become ‘must read classics.' Will everyone feel an obligation to read them then? I know I won't.

I've learned not to feel guilty about not liking the classics. How about you? Have you read them? Did you enjoy them? What is your opinion of a ‘classic’ book?


253565 - 2023-07-19 07:46:57


Copyright 2022 OatLabs ABN 18113479226