I often talk about ‘visiting the classics’ when referring to certain books I intend to read or re-read. I’ve recently tackled Middlemarch, The Woman in White, A Doll’s House, and The Moonstone (in some cases with a bit of help from Audible); for all of these, in my book (excuse the awful pun), are classics.
You can start a cracking debate with fellow readers by trying to define, and then justify, your own interpretation of what is a classic? It’s certainly not an absolute science. If you take a look at what Penguin lists within its classics range you will find the sub-headings ‘Vintage Classics’ and ‘Modern Classics’ – covering texts from many cultures and including poetry, plays, and prose.
‘So many books, so little time’ – Frank Zappa
It can seem daunting that there is so much classic literature out there and only enough waking hours (certainly in my case) to scratch the surface. Some of these works have clearly stood the test of time and still speak in a profound way to readers today; whilst others capture something of their own time and hold it in perpetuity.
I’m not suggesting that all works given a classic label are great works; for you may find that some are not right for you. I certainly have, but am far too cowardly to name them here! Though I would suggest adding one or two to your ‘to read’ list, for if you keep sticking your toe in the water, I guarantee you will find something that will make the effort worth your while.
If you’re unsure where to start, you’ll find a few ideas here: