I have a confession to make: I don’t read classics. During school, I always read enough to get the gist of things, but never really fell into a Dickens novel, or one of Jane Austen’s epic love stories. I stacked them on my shelves, embarrassed by the lack of desire I had to actually pick them up. My claim to fame are the few times I have dipped my feet in the water: that one summer I read The Bell Jar for fun, or the time I spent an entire day reading The Great Gatsby, or the Christmas I tackled Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Admittedly, these are all very short, and were not actually written that long ago. I have made two personal goals in the past to get a move on on my classical education. I promised myself that this would be the year I got going. I’m not entirely sure why I am so intimidated by them. Daunting language, perhaps? Regardless, I know I will love the stories, so I am making one more solid attempt. This holiday season (and going into January, I’m sure), I will read a classic!
Being an admirer of Ruben Toledo, I have managed to collect his entire line of Penguin Deluxe Classics which I have blogged about twice, and have read none of. In my collection sit Dracula, Wuthering Heights, The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Jane Eyre. My copy of Jane Eyre is my absolute favourite. Inscribed by my boyfriend for my university graduation, it sits among its fellow classics on the shelf, but is constantly asked after. While I contemplate my next read , he will point to Jane Eyre and asked if I’ve picked it up yet. I will picture his cursive etched on the title page, my heart will warm, but so will my cheeks, and I immediately feel ashamed that I haven’t. So, it is time!
Whether it will be Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, I haven’t yet decided. There is something about Wuthering Heights that says Christmas time to me. The gothic, tragic love story perhaps? Seems like it would go well with snow. But, a vote on Facebook (which was much more popular than I expected) showed me that not only does everyone love Jane Eyre, but I am clearly the only person on the planet who hasn’t read it! (Ok, not really, but you get what I mean.)
I also have Rebecca, Gone With the Wind and The Road (maybe not a “classic” yet, but it’s up there) to get to. Someday .. someday..
Dear readers: what is YOUR favourite classic? Do you re-read them? What is your favourite time of year to do this? Did you get to them on your own, for school, or as a recommendation? As a kid, or when you were older? I find this stuff fascinating, so please do share!