Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons Why I Love Classics

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week, we're talking about why we love our favorite genres. I try to read pretty broadly across genres, but one that I really enjoy doesn't seem to get much love: the classics! People are quick to dismiss them as boring and irrelevant, and while there is certainly fair criticism about the literary "canon", many of these books are great, y'all! I could not quite come up with ten, so here are eight reasons I love the classics (and you should try reading them too!).



People are impressed by it: I'm shallow, I admit it. When people are impressed that I've read War and Peace, I get to feel very intellectual. Here's the secret: it's not a difficult read at all, it's actually very straightforward and engaging. It's just really long. But people who haven't read it don't know that!

They're often more modern than you think: We might have iPhones and streaming music now, but it turns out many of the struggles people face (dealing with family, finding and sustaining love, connecting with other people) are universal and once you get past the more formal language and horse-drawn carriages, these books are really applicable to life!

They help you understand references: I won't pretend that I don't feel smug when I can spot allusions to the classics in newer books, movies, and television shows.

They teach you history: History can feel like a dry collection of names and dates when you're trying to learn it, but stories like Vanity Fair (the Napoleonic Wars) and Les Miserables (the French Revolution of 1830) can make those times come to life!

They've stood the test of time: I think we've all watched the hype machine build up a book only to have seen it all but disappear a few years later. These books have been read for decades or sometimes even hundreds of years, so there's definitely something there.

There's something for everyone: There are long books! There are short books! There are horror and romance and science fiction and fantasy! It's an umbrella category that covers a lot of different kinds of things so there is almost certainly something you'd enjoy.

You can find them secondhand very cheap, or free for many e-readers: There are a bajillion copies of Great Expectations out there, you absolutely do not need to spend more than a few dollars on it or many other classics. And for those books in the public domain, you can usually get them free on your e-reader of choice!

They can be challenging: We all like things that are fun and easy to read, but there's a sense of accomplishment that comes with wrestling with something that pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and classics can definitely give you that extra intellectual stimulation.

11 comments:

  1. What a great list. I love the classics, too. And someone else blogged about this same topic this week!

    My TTT .

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    1. I'm always excited when other people are into classics too!

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  2. Great list! I don't read many classics these days, but when I was an English Lit student I loved learning history through the lens of the classics. If you really want to understand the industrial revolution, read some Elizabeth Gaskell, if you want to know what the Victorians were afraid of, read Gothic novels! It's a lot of fun.

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    1. They're great stories, and those angles make them even more interesting!

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  3. I used to be a fan of classics but since graduating from uni I haven't touched very many. I do still have a lot of them on my TBR so I'll get to them eventually :)

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    1. I never read them for school so I'm catching up!

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  4. I think it's awesome that you connect so well with the classics. I wish I did.

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    1. Not everything is for everyone, but at least you've tried! I get bummed out when people refuse to try them because they think they won't like them

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  5. This is such a great list! I have so many classics on my TBR that I haven't gotten around to reading - they feel daunting, but as you mentioned, that could be a great way to expand my reading comfort zone!

    My TTT

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  6. Agree with 'more modern than you think' and 'stand the test of time'. I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte in the month of May, and it definitely dealt with a number of themes that still feel quite modern & relative today.

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