I’ve read a lot of classics. I did English Lit A-level and then went on to study it at uni for three years. However, in the years since full-time education, you could say that I’ve got a bit lazy with my reading. I still read a lot, but instead of pushing myself in the main I’ve stuck with enjoyable books. So, when I happened upon The Classics Club, I realised this was the perfect opportunity to redress the balance.
The idea is that bloggers like you and me draw themselves a list of 50+ classics that they pledge to read within five years or less. You specify the books and the deadline. You can choose to re-read and thus blog about, but I decided to go with entirely new books, apart from a few that I have started and dropped such as War and Peace. I mainly chose by examining my bookshelves and writing down the ones I hadn’t read yet that I thought could reasonably be counted as classics. Unfortunately not all the books I have bought and not got down to reading are classics. I intended to just do 50, but after that exercise I had already exceeded 50. Don’t judge me. Compulsive book buying is a legitimate disease.
Then I pondered books I would like to have read. This accounts for the inclusion of The Iliad, The Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost. I envisage these will make me cleverer. The jury’s out on how enjoyable they’ll be. I suppose I tried not to shy away from books I thought would be tough. I read Ulysses and found it immeasurably tough, although ultimately very rewarding.
At the end I had 100 books. Success. Predictably, no sooner had I done so than I thought of another. 101 sounded good though. Of course, once I typed up my list I realised it was only 100, by which time I’d got quite excited about the idea of 101. Luckily a friend has encouraged me many times to read The Kite Runner so no.101 was an easy pick.
I’ve given myself the full five years because I know I’ll read other things in between and I’ll probably lose interest here and there. I’m excited though!
You can see the full list on my Classics Club page! Now I just need to choose which one to read first!