Thursday, 13 November 2014

Classic bookshelf

I've always loved books. Reading is one of my favourite pastimes, albeit a brief one that usually only occurs on the bus to and from work each day but it's still a pleasure. My TBR list has grown and shrunk over the years and now lives in the form of a spreadsheet on my phone that I can add to any time I see an appealing title. It's also always on hand when I'm at the library or faced with a pile of books I can select from.

As a reader, I've always had romantic notions of thumbing through my own well read collection of books housed in a dedicated room (a personal library, of course), pulling out a classic title or two to reread on a rainy Sunday afternoon. But, to be honest, I'm not really a book buyer and I haven't read many of the so-called classics at all, let alone had time to reread them. Apart from a few that were sadly ruined when I was made to endure them at school, reading classic novels and literature is a relatively recent goal for me.

Initially with the Classics app on my phone and now with my Kindle, I'm like readers all around the world that now have quick access to all the copyright-free classics at my fingertips. This has certainly encouraged me to intersperse more more classic novels into my reading. (I'm generally talking about books 100+ years old, although there are many titles I would consider to be modern classics.) I wonder how much influence it has had on reviving classic books for other readers?

There are some classic titles that I have really enjoyed delving into. They show me life in a society that existed a whole different age, for better or for worse. It hasn't all been happy nostalgic reading, though. There are some titles that I have barely managed to force myself through and others that I have tried and failed to finish several times; I'm reading one of them right now. Still, I know that I'm barely scratching the surface of the world of classic literature and I'm keen to dive in further.

Here's a quick snapshot of my classic bookshelf.

Classics I've enjoyed
Classics I've endured
Classics I want to knock off one day
Classics that have beaten me
  • Madame Bovary (almost). It remains to be seen whether I make it past 30% of the way through. So far, I'm enjoying the Wikipedia summary more than the novel which is simply painful.
  • Great Expectations - on many occasions. Fact.
  • Wuthering Heights. I still can't get past the 2/3 mark.
Are you a classic novel reader? What do you recommend for me?

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