Classics Week 5: Why I read Classics

Hi all,

The time has come to write the last post of Classics Week.

In this series, I’ve talked a lot about what I like to read but not why, so here are a few of the reasons why I read Classics.

It has to be a good book if it’s a Classic

This statement is not always true unfortunately but I’ve been quite lucky so far. I tend to think that if a book has been continuously read for centuries, there has to be a reason. It can be for the themes addressed, the beauty of the prose or the novelty of the prose, or for everything at once.

You can never go wrong with a Classic. Even when you don’t like it, you get a perspective on what other people think matters, what speaks and stays with them.

History

One thing I absolutely love about reading Classics is that it transports me into a completely different period and I’m able to get a glimpse of what life was like centuries before I experienced it. I do enjoy contemporary historical fiction but it’s not the same as when a book is written by someone who has actually seen and lived through the events he or she is retelling.

When the author shares his or her thoughts, you get to enter the mind of someone who lived centuries before you, and not in a creepy Tom Riddle way. This is what I find exciting about reading Classics, and about reading in general, you get to dive into someone else’s brain for a change and see what’s happening in there.

Writing quality

Although writing styles can vary drastically from one book to the other, I tend to always enjoy the quality that Classics show in terms of style. I find Classics poetic and I admire the work authors have put into stringing together these complexly beautiful sentences.

I’m not a big fan of the conversation-like style that you can find in a lot of contemporary novels. When I’m reading, I often want to dive into an unfamiliar situation, not be reminded of a conversation I’ve already had. It’s great to feel close to a character but I don’t like when the writing style takes me away from the story and throws me back into reality. I mean reality is fine but books are sometimes better.

Culture

I also read Classics because it’s a great and entertaining way to enhance my cultural knowledge (how pompous does that sound?). Classics have shaped many generations; they are quoted on a daily basis and have coined numerous expressions. I always get excited when I understand a literary reference and as a person who loves learning, I think Classics are an important knowledge to have.

Oh and I forgot to add:

I read Classics because I like them!

I hope you have enjoyed these posts. I still have a lot to say on the topic of Classics so there will definitely be related posts in the future. Something to look forward to. In the meantime,

Toodles,

Pow.

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