Getting started with Classics

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As you know, I love books and always have but it was only recently that I began to read outside of my usual, easy to read YA books and began reading more adult books and classics. There are so many different types of classics from Greek to American but the only ones I have read are English Classics (i.e. the Brontes, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy etc.) so I thought I would put a post together with a few novels that I think are perfect for those who want to start reading English classics but find the thought a bit daunting.

When I first thought about reading a classic, I was put off by the idea that the language would be far too difficult to understand, that there was no way I would be able to understand the plot of and entire novel. However if you are having similar thoughts, don't let that stop you from picking up a classic, you just have to choose up the right books as some are much harder than others. Every so often, there will be a word which you have no idea what it means but all you need is a good old dictionary and away you go. For school, we have to read Frankenstein and Shelly (the author) has a much better vocabulary than I do so it feels like I need a dictionary every two lines! 

I just want to say that whilst I am not an expert in classics, and haven't read hundreds of them, I am slowly starting to build up my library so I believe I can give a good recommendation based on what I have read so far. 



Onto the books. The first one I would recommend, which was the first classic I ever read, is Pride and Prejudice. I feel this is one that everyone who loves literature will have heard of, if not seen some sort of adaptation. What I found helpful when reading this was that I had seen the BBC series (my favourite adaptation by the way and one everyone should watch, I think it is on Netflix) as it is very close to the book so I could easily follow the story line which is so helpful when I was trying to figure out the language. I do want to re-read this as, although once you have read one book it does get easier, I feel that I wasn't able to fully enjoy it as I was focused on getting used to the language. I was much easier with the second classic I read and I really enjoyed it.

And that book was Emma, another one of Jane Austen's novels so perfect for new readers. For those who haven't heard of Emma before, it is about a rather spoilt (but not necessarily in a bad way) girl who wants to help the people she knows by helping them to fall in love so she trys a bit of matchmaking. However it doesn't all go to plan but you can find out more about that when you read it! It is an easy story line to follow but I'm sure any of Austen's novels would be good place to start. I have two of her books,  Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility, which are on my wish list.

Another cool little thing to help when reading Austen is this sweet little book which has summaries of all her novels as well as a list of the characters (these can be quite hard to keep track of!). If have this, read it is as you go along so it doesn't give away any spoilers! 

The final book I have to recommend is Jane Eyre, which I recently read as back ground reading for school. For some reason I thought this would be much harder to read than Austen but I was actually surprised when I found it even easier to read. It is a bit longer than the previous two but I got though it relatively quickly as I found to story so intriguing. I will say it is a bit slow to start so you do have to give it a chance. A small pointer about these types of books is that they do tend to have a much slower pace than modern books but just stick with it! They tend to pick up as you go through them. 

I hope you like this post and found it helpful! Happy reading! 

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2 comments

  1. I used to read loads but haven't much in the last couple of years, hopefully will get back into it soon and add these to my to-read-list xx

    Sophie's Spot

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    Replies
    1. I went through a phase like this but as soon as I started reading it again, I feel in love with it again!

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