So this year I wanted to get into more classics and I’m not going to lie it has been really hard. I really wanted to expand my reading but so many people decide that has to be through diverse books and that’s fair enough but I think classics are diverse in thought and they’re not like things we get in modern writing.
So due to circumstances I really have been getting sick of American based books – it’s just boring now and I really struggle to relate.
The classics that I have been reading have been England based (I want to branch out to the rest of the UK but they’re less popular) and it has given me a much better understanding of my history (I am Scottish however) and what people went through to get to where I am today. I am currently reading Wurthering Heights and being based in the North West of England currently (travel with my job) gives me a really interesting perspective. There are places being mentioned and I know that if I felt like it I could drive to them and see them. I think it just brings you a really different connection to the books and the stories. I really want to go to the Bronte’s parsonage museum and that’s really pushing me to read their books. I want to go to visit the places that these authors come from and are writing about. I want to go to Bath where Jane Austen spent a portion of her life. I want to go to Sussex, I want to go all the way down to Portsmouth and see the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle museum (he’s Scottish – did not know that until I picked up Sherlock Holmes)
So I struggled to know where to begin with classics so I just picked editions I like (penguin english library) and when I was in a charity shop or seen it for cheap I picked it up. Great way to do it for me. I also am trying (and slightly failing) to do the Bronte book club hosted by LucytheReader. That’s a good way to introduce you to 5/6 books of somewhere else to get started.
The most important thing I’ve found is that they take such a long time and can be really confusing at times. Don’t be afraid to google what it is you’re confused about and it might clear it up. For example while reading Wurthering Heights I could not figure out the narrator and just asked google – total epiphany.
I big tip I have is read a small amount each day. The Sherlock Holmes books are 100ish pages they’re a piece of cake – loved them! But for books reaching 200-500 pages (not tackled the 800 pages beasts yet) I have found that sectioning off 2 chapters a day is such a life saver. It may take me 2/3 weeks to read them but the important part is that I’m reading them. It also means that I can read the easier books that I enjoy as well.
I understand that maybe you’re not the type of person that can read more than one book at a time so what I would say is that block yourself out more time for them. A 300 pages classic is going to take you twice as long to read it as a normal modern book at least!
You have to allow yourself the time to read them and not beat yourself up. Lucythereader is such a great channel if you’re looking to get into classics. Finding booktubers that focus way more on classics has made me excited to read them.
I would love to talk to people about classics if anyone is interested.