Is one of your bookish New Year’s resolutions to start reading more classic literature? Or do you always think you’d like to read more classics but just…never get around to it? Here are some tips to get you motivated and finding classics you’ll love!
Pick a Genre You Like
When people talk about “classics,” they often seem to be referring either to Shakespeare (16th century drama) or Victorian literature. References to books about “boring old people” and novels written in “incomprehensible, old-timey language” abound with readers who don’t consider themselves fan of classics. However, classics come in literally every genre and have been written in nearly every time period. If you want modern, simpler language, you can try modern classics like Of Mice and Men or To Kill a Mockingbird. If you like genre fiction, you can try science fiction classics like War of the Worlds or fantasy classics like The Lord of the Rings. Whatever kinds of books you normally like, there’s probably something for you in classic literature.
Pick a Classic Related to a Book You Already Like
There are many contemporary novels based on or inspired by classics, so if you like any of those, you just might like the original story! For example, if you like Roseblood by A.G. Howard, it might be time to read The Phantom of the Opera! Or if you generally like romances or stories about women finding their way, you might like Jane Eyre!
We have a couple of posts recommending classics based on young adult or middle grade books you’ve already read:
Start with Something Short
The word “classic” can often conjure up images of heavy tomes like War and Peace, but there is a large selection of classics that are actually quick reads. If you’re not sure how committed you are to reading something lengthy, check out my list of classic books that are under 200 pages.
Work a Small Excerpt into Your Daily Schedule
You can also work classics into your schedule in small chunks. You can listen to an audiobook while cleaning or on your way to work. You can commit to just reading 10 pages a day. Or you can sign up for a literary service that will send a short excerpt to your email each day, about a 5-10 min. commitment to read a classic in a month or so! You can read more about why I like using DailyLit to get book excerpts sent to my email here, but there are a few other websites that offer similar services.
Find Other Readers Excited about Classics
Reading classics is more interesting when you find other readers who love them–and there happen to be a ton of them in our bookish community! Finding someone passionate about a book is also a good way to find things to appreciate about it, even if you didn’t initially love it yourself. I experience this a lot in school, where class conversations helped me see some interesting things in books I initially thought were pretty boring. So if you’re interested in reading a particular classic, see if you can find someone else who read it and loved it and can tell you why!
Do you read classics? Have you been meaning to read more?