The Classics are Classics for a Reason
If you’ve ever been intimidated by classic literature, don’t worry, you’re not alone. For some, literature only exists in the realm of Dickens, Foucault, Tolstoy, and other authors who’s last names are simply impossible to spell. For others, literature exists in the context of what’s hottest on the New York Times best seller’s list. We’re not here to say one is better than the other. In fact, incorporating both styles of literature are important in expanding your world view and your bookshelf.
1. More Vocab Words
Many classic books use elevated language. Reading books with more sophisticated language can help build your own vocabulary. Cue the iconic movie, Dead Poet’s Society, and one of Robin William’s most famous lines: “So avoid using the word very, because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose…” Bonus points go to this movie for referencing authors like Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau.
2. You Won’t Be the Last To Get the Reference
You might be surprised to discover how many popular movies and TV shows reference classic literature. For that reason, when you read iconic books, it can feel like you’re rediscovering a hidden treasure. Let’s say you’ve decided to delve into the world of Dickens, and you come across the famous introductory line, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and the proverbial lightbulb goes off. We give you carte-blanche to exclaim that yes, you’re a part of the club that actually gets it now.
3. It will Make You a Better Reader and Writer
Whether or not you read and write professionally is beside the point. We all need to be read and write in our daily lives or, chances are, things at work or school won’t run as smoothly as they could. Immersing yourself in a well-written tale trains your brain to be a better communicator— there’s a reason we still read Pride and Prejudice in high school or The Odyssey in college! Immersing yourself in classic literature is like going to the gym: The more often you go (read), the stronger (smarter) you get!!
4. Classic Literature Paved the Way
Whether you vow to read one classic book a year, or take in one classic book a week, you’ll notice that many of them laid the groundwork for a lot of the stories that followed. Did you know that the popular book, Bridge Jones’s Diary then turned movie, was based originally on a classic book? Pride and Prejudice to be exact. Or the harrowing film, Apocalypse Now is a reprisal of Joseph Conrad’s famous colonial critique, Heart of Darkness.
Classic books aren’t always the easiest to read. But we promise, the more you include them in your to-be-read lists, the easier they will be to get through. Plus, we hear that classic books make great party conversations. Happy reading!
Liked what you read? Check out more on our blog; like how to actually find time to read more books or how to start your own book club. And make sure to follow us on social media, @westmarginpress and @minteditions.