5 Reasons to Read Classics // ft. recommendations & me trying to make you all grandmas like me!!

I really, really like classics.

Despite the fact that they aren’t the most popular of books in the book community, I can’t help but love them, and I realized that I don’t spend enough time shouting from the rooftops just how amazing they are.

Enter this post, where I’m going to be sharing five reasons to read classics! My hope is that I can convince you all to pick up at least one classic, maybe even one from the list of my favorites at the end of this post. I also want this post to show you that reading classics isn’t just for older people! Although I do embrace the grandma spirit inside of me.

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Before I get fully into the post, I just wanted to apologize for my lack of activity on the blogosphere lately. I started back at school and dance and I’m much busier than I thought I would be! I have so many comments to respond to and posts to read from all of you, and I’m so sorry that I’m not getting around to it as quick as I want to.

I feel like I’ll just make things worse if I don’t stay on my schedule, so I’m writing this post even though I’m still very behind on my blog hopping and comments. Thank you all for your patience! I can’t wait to hopefully give you all the love you deserve soon.♥

That aside, I seriously do love classics, and I’m going to do all I can to share the love with all of you today! Let’s get started.

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They’re common knowledge.

There’s a reason why they’re called classics. They’ve not only been read by one generation of readers, but by many generations of readers. This means they are much more well-known than your average book and people of all ages can and will have read them!

I think this speaks to how much of a nerd I am, but that idea genuinely makes me so happy. It’s incredible to think about how so many people have enjoyed this exact story before you, in all different times and life situations, and that just as many people will enjoy if after you.

Because of this, so many classics are common knowledge! And being the avid bookworm that you are, you definitely want to be a part of sharing this common knowledge.

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It’s a way to challenge yourself as a reader.

One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to reading classics is that they’re very challenging books to read.

Image result for what does this mean gif

Yep, that about sums up how I feel during some classics. While it can be truly difficult to decipher what exactly the author is saying, or what’s happening, or why the English language was so complicated only two hundred years ago…at the end of the day, I can appreciate this in a whole other light.

It’s nice to challenge myself every once in a while! With dance, my other main pastime, I’m always pushing myself past my comfort zone and trying to improve and be better than I was the day before. It only makes sense that I also challenge myself with my reading, so classics is a great way to do that.

Of course, I recognize that this isn’t the case for everyone! Everyone has different levels of what is challenging for them regarding reading. For many readers, they read books in English even though it’s not their first language, and that in itself is a challenge! I’m definitely not trying to say that reading classics is the only way to challenge yourself or that if you don’t do it, you’re not challenging yourself.

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All the retellings will make sense to you!

I know in the professional world of literature (if this is such a thing) classic retellings might be somewhat of a debate, but I think they’re awesome. Reading a retelling or even a book vaguely based on a classic novel can inspire readers to pick up the novel itself!

If you’ve read the classic, then the retellings will make much more sense since you know the original story. Plus, then you won’t have to worry about spoiling the classic for yourself by reading a retelling.

It’s always nice to be in on any kind of inside joke, and I think this is a similar situation to that, just with books of course. Because why wouldn’t there be books.

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They’re actually amazing stories.

This seems like a really basic answer, but it’s honestly so true that I couldn’t not include it in this post. I mean, classics are classics because they are loved, adored, and cherished! They’re so loved and adored and cherished that people are reading them hundreds of years after they were written.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a classic and not liked the story, and while I haven’t read nearly as many as I’d like to, I have read quite a few classics.

Image result for jess and rory book gif

Ahem, sorry, I had to put this gif in here. If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan you will understand the complete pure necessity of this image. Anyway, as I was saying before Jess Mariano made me want to rewatch every episode he is in of the entire series, the stories within these books are incredible.

It’s true that they don’t deal with current issues, but you’ll get to learn about the issues of the time and be more educated on the past. You’ll also get to meet beloved characters, see what life was like, and enjoy the adventures the characters go on.

I!! love!! the stories in classics!!

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You’ll sound smarter.

This is the most shallow reason of them all, but hey! It’s true.

Reading classics gives you the opportunity to reference them and therefore sound smart doing it. I mean, people will definitely take you seriously if you draw a comparison to the novel Wuthering Heights as compared to a comparison about Harry Potter, right? Let’s ignore the fact that I still haven’t finished Wuthering Heights for the sake of this example.

The type of book you read is no measure of your intelligence and I’m not implying that it is- but it can make you sound like you know what you’re talking about in a quick conversation or essay.

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For the last part of the post, I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favorite classics. I would recommend any of these because they all have great stories, characters, and are perfect for people of any age.

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Little Women (Little Women, #1)Pride and Prejudice

Anne of Green Gables This has to be my absolute favorite book! I’ll never tire of Anne’s exuberant personality and the true love and happiness that shines through in this book.

Little Women Another lifelong favorite of mine, I can’t help but get intertwined into the lives of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy each time I read it. There’s also a new movie version coming out soon and Emma Watson is playing Meg!

Pride & Prejudice This is seriously one of the most iconic classics to ever exist. I feel like everyone has heard of Mr. Darcy even if you haven’t read it, and for good reason! This is so well-written and it’s a true masterpiece of a novel.

Jane EyreFrankensteinEmma

Jane Eyre I love this one so, so much! Jane was such an intriguing character, and the suspense and drama in this one is top-notch.

Frankenstein I surprisingly enjoyed this book much more than I ever thought I would! I had to read it for required reading, but it ended up being a great experience and I’m glad I read such an iconic novel.

Emma– I buddy read this with Annie a while back, and I really liked it! It was such a quaint, comforting, deliciously slow and entertaining novel.

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I hope this post could inspire you to read a classic or two! If you’re looking for one to start with, any of these recommendations would be great, or if you want a more specific recommendation just let me know in the comments and I can try to narrow it down more for you.

I’m in no way a classics expert and still have way too many left to go, but I wanted to write this post just to spread my love for the classics I have read and to make myself feel better about my grandma spirit. I hope to read more classics soon- I recently started Anna Karenina, and so far I like it, though I haven’t gotten very far.

Thank you all for reading! I hope you’re having a wonderful day.✨

Do you like classics? Why or why not? Which ones have you read or want to read soon? I’d love to chat with you all in the comments.

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Credits for the image in my featured image >> Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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91 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Read Classics // ft. recommendations & me trying to make you all grandmas like me!!

  1. Loved this post! Although they’re not usually my first pick, I do really enjoy classics and it was so nice to read your take on why you should read them! I especially love the first point – it’s so incredible how these classics have been read by so many people in so many different generations at so many different times. And they were perceived differently by each generation as perspectives and knowledge changed.
    My all-time favourite classic would have to be Anne of Green Gables – I don’t always reread classics but this one I can – especially as it was one of the first ones I read so has that nostalgia too. I also love The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol, Jane Eyre and Little Woman! I’ll have to reread the latter before the movie!

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    • Thank you very much, Emme!💗Yes a thousand times, I think that’s why they’re so appealing to me- there’s a mysterious beauty about them that I can’t help but love so much and they have such a vintage feel, for obvious reasons. My all time fave is Anne of Green Gables, too! 🤗I haven’t read The Secret Garden in years, but I should really revisit it soon.

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  2. embrace the grandma spirit!!! you’re so right, classics definitely do push my brain ability (especially when it uses old english and then i cri) but theyre so challenging, in a strangely fun way, to read.
    oh my god, you did NOT just hit us with a jess mariano gif. olivia, do you WANT me to spend hours watching jess/rory moments, bc i absolutely will???
    yessss @ your recommendations. anne green gables, little women, and p&p are my favourite 3 that i’ve read so far (still a newbie at classics) ugh pride and prejudice is still too powerful.

    i’m currently reading my first agatha christie book and im super excited and after that, i really want to get back to jane austen, so maybe i’ll take your recommendation and try Emma

    GREAT POST!! this was so fun and informative

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    • Ahh, I’m a grandma spirit and there’s no going back now.🙈I agree so much about the Old English making me cry and also about it being an oddly fun challenge!

      Yes, I most definitely did just use a Jess Mariano gif…and honestly, I spend hours watching Rory/Logan and Rory/Jess moments on a regular basis so, I relate.😭❤️(I’m very much Team Logan but I also appreciate Jess quite a lot.)

      We have the same top three!! I seriously love Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe so much, oh MY goodness. Ooh, I’ve yet to read any Agatha Christie, but I feel like I should??

      Thank you so much!! I loved this comment dearly.<33

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  3. Okay okay but Wuthering Heights is actually so good. It’s one of my favorite classics and even though the characters aren’t exactly role models, the story is incredibly gripping.

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  4. I’ve read a few classics. Not as many as I’d like, though. I really enjoyed the ones I’ve read. And yes, Anne of Green Gables is a great book. The last reason made me laugh. Why else would I throw around really long words?

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  5. amazing post, Olivia!! and don’t feel guilty about not posting much or commenting! school gets to the best of us :((. and I love that you are pursuing your dance passion–that’s amazing and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it!

    I REALLY NEED TO READ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. :(( i even have the Puffin in Bloom edition! it’s just that classics never cross my mind when I think of things to read! i think that that’s because of the old english. i would really prefer not to have to decipher what a book is saying in every line :”) but you’re right that classics are classics for a reason! the ones i’ve read have been so eye opening to read, be it about the time period it was written in, the writing style back then, or something else! right now, the only classics i remember reading are The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, but I enjoyed them both!

    ALSO OLIVIA DID YOU SEE THAT YOU WON BEST NEW BOOK BLOGGER IN THE BBA’S?? CONGRATS YOU DESERVE IT SO MUCH AHHHHHH

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    • Thank you, Caitlin!!💖And aww, thank you so very much. That means so much to me- and I’m sure I’ve missed so many of your amazing posts, but hopefully I’ll be able to catch up soon. xx

      PLEASE DO, PLEASE DO. It’s my favorite book and I would love to fangirl over it with you. 😉 Ohhh my goodness, the Puffin in Bloom version is PERFECTION, I have my mom’s version from when she was my age and just a regular looking one, but I really want the Puffin one because it’s beautiful, ahhh. I definitely will say that Anne of Green Gables is one of the easiest classics I’ve read! It’s not easy to read, per se, but it’s not really in Old English or anything. Same with Little Women, which is probably why those two are my favorites! I haven’t read A Little Princess and I feel like admitting this on the Internet is some kind of bookworm crime and I shall be hauled away to bookworm jail or something.

      WAIT, I DIDN’T SEE YET!!! OH MY GOSH, THANK YOU SO MUCH, CAITLIN!! WHAT, I’M CRYING AND HONORED.😭😭

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  6. FIRST OF ALL – GRANDMA SPIRITS UNITE! 💃🏻 I’m trying to make a conscious effort to read more classics (I mean, a Jane Austen a day keeps the doctor away, right? RIGHT?) I’m also (controversially) quite a big fan of retellings, as long as they’re done well & they have their own unique twist! Maybe you should do a recommendation post on your fave retellings?! 😍

    💛 Ngoc

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  7. I also love classics. Other than Harry Potter, classics are what got me into reading in the first place. I love Charles Dickens, though they take me a while to read. Frankenstein was one of my favs!!! Such a good story! Jane Eyre I really enjoyed (though the ending kind of made me mad). I also like Oscar Wilde’s works and Shakespeare’s plays!

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    • Yay, I’m so happy to hear that! I’ve yet to read Charles Dickens (does that make me a bad bookworm👀) or Oscar Wilde, though I have read a couple of Shakespeare’s plays. There’s pretty much an infinite amount of classics I still have to read, but I guess that’s the exciting part about them!

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  8. This was a great post! I’ve been meaning to read classics FOREVER but I just keep passing them up for newer books on my tbr. I definitely want to read Emma though. I watched the movie in English class (I know, I know, that’s like a booklover sin lol) and it was actually really good! Also, I know an Emma Mills book I really liked (First & Then, I think?) was a Pride & Prejudice retelling and it was amazing. If I had actually read Pride & Prejudice, I’m sure I’d liked it more. Thanks for all the suggestions! 🙂

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    • Aaah, thank you, Madeline!💓I haven’t seen the Emma movie, but I think I’ve heard it was good before, so maybe hearing it again is a sign I should watch it. The sad thing is I’ve read both First & Then and Pride & Prejudice but I never realized it was a retelling…THAT’S SO COOL, THOUGH. I even read P&P before reading First & Then…welp, sometimes I just am a little oblivious with that kind of thing. XD

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  9. I love this post so much! I had a period of time a few years ago where I read so many classics! And they were great! While at the time I mostly read them to be hip, and in the know with all these books that people reference every day, I ended up enjoying almost all of them! They do take a while, and so I’ve put my classic reading on hold while college takes over all my brain power, but I have a few that I can’t wait to read once I think I can process them properly!

    Also, for the retelling bit, when I was younger I read the Mother Daughter Book Club. It’s a series where there’s a self explanatory book club, and they choose different classics each book. Sometimes they read more than one, or even a series! And I had only read Pride and Prejudice at the time, but that series convinced me to pick up so many great classics. Some of which I hadn’t heard anyone talk about before, but became my favorites!

    So if you’re looking for any recommendations, Daddy Long Legs is one of the cutest classics I’ve ever read! (Plus it has pictures!) That was one of the books the Mother Daughter Book Club introduced me to. I also really liked Dracula, even though it’s a bit of a longer read! At the current moment Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights are at the top of my classic TBR! I hope to get to them in the next few years!

    I have so much to say about classics (if you couldn’t tell from this ridiculously long comment) so thank you for giving me the opportunity to gush over them!

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    • Thank you so much, Malka!❤️Classics are just amazing. I’m sorry that you can’t really read them right now, but it is good that you know you have some great books waiting for you once you’re ready.

      Ahh, I kind of freaked out when I read this because The Mother-Daughter Book Club used to be my all time favorite series! The author’s blog is actually what inspired me to start my first blog over five years ago. I still love those books so much and I reread them frequently- and they also were my main inspiration to read classics! That’s what led me to read Little Women, Anne, P&P, and Jane Eyre.

      I always wanted to read Daddy Long Legs because they read it in MDBC! I’ll have to check it out soon. Ooh, thank you for the recommendations! Now I’m just over here in my Mother-Daughter Book Club feels, it brings so much nostalgia as I think about the different plots and ships.😭

      I absolutely loved this comment! Thank you so much for it, Malka.

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  10. i’m definitely guilty of neglecting classics, hahah. but some of my favorite books are classics, like anne of green gables and the secret garden! i’m glad school has forced me to read classics because it makes me a better reader (i’m still not good at reading dickens but i really liked tale of two cities!)

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    • Ahh, Anne of Green Gables is just😍I think it will always be my all time favorite book?? I really want to read A Tale of Two Cities because I haven’t read anything by Dickens and that’s pretty sad. Thank you for your comment, Audrey!

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  11. I’m starting to read a lot more classics now actually! I just finished Little Women and it is now my new favorite book lol ❤ and I'm almost finished with The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath which is is a completely different vibe but just as mind blowing and good. No wonder they're both classics 🙂

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  12. I love classics!
    I never tend to review them though since my blog is mainly YA,
    but I love classics because they are hoenstly so petty, there is always tea and I honestly can relate to all the fainting done by the ladies. Plus, the guys seem cuter?
    – Emma 🙂

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    • Same here! I don’t usually review them because I don’t know how interested people would be in hearing my thoughts about them, but I just felt compelled to talk about them in this post. 😉 Haha, I mean, I can’t really argue with that…Mr. Darcy anyone??

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  13. OMG YESSSSS A FELLOW GRANDMA!!! I totally feel you on every single one of these points! I’m actually re-reading Wuthering Heights right now :’) Out of the classics you listed, the only two that I haven’t read are Emma & Frankenstein. Emma is actually next on my list, so once I finish the WH re-read, I’m finally gonna take Emma down from my shelves, because she’s been there for too long waiting for me :’) Don’t sweat being busy! I feel the same way; we just gotta take things at our own pace while we find our own groove.

    brineandbooks.com

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    • YES, THAT’S ME.🙈Aww, I’m so glad you could relate! I really do think I should give Wuthering Heights another chance. I hope you enjoy Emma, it was definitely such an enjoyable read and after all, Jane Austen really does not disappoint. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Macey!!❤️

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  14. Classics are one of those “genres”, if it can be called that, that I want to go into but I’m always afraid to. I think the only classics I’ve read were Pride and Prejudice and The Portrait of Dorian Gray and I liked both, so I honestly have no idea why I don’t read them more.

    I’m LOVING Anne With an E so maybe I’ll give the book a try. Also, North & South, because it’s been sitting on my shelves for ages now.

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    • I understand that for sure! They’re just generally intimidating books, but like you said, they always end up being worth it in the end.

      Ohh, I loved Anne With an E! I’ve only seen the first season, and though a lot of parts were different from the actual book, I thought it was beautifully done.🤗Happy reading, and thank you for your comment!

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  15. YAY for classics! Your favorites are some of my favorites too!!! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE EMMA WATSON MEG.

    I do have two suggestions for you: Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, & Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I reviewed both on Goodreads & shall now friend you so you can see, if you’re curious. (Absolutely no expectation for comments/likes, etc. I am only sharing for the sake of the books.) 🙂

    Also, this may give you a lift: https://theclassicsclubblog.wordpress.com/members/

    ALL THOSE PEOPLE ARE BLOGGING THE CLASSICS. It’s a club I founded. 😛

    Also, I spy Charlotte’s Web on your list. That was my favorite book as a kid. I still can’t step on a spider until I’m quite sure it isn’t lovely, & a spider web makes me smile. ❤

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    • Aww, that’s awesome! Eek, same here, I can’t wait to go see it in theaters.😍

      Oh, thank you so much for the recommendations! Gone With the Wind is near the top of my classics TBR list at the moment, and I haven’t heard of Testament of Youth, so that’s exciting.

      WOW, THAT’S AMAZING. I love that there are so many people talking about classics out there, because they’re phenomenal!! It’s incredible that you founded a club about it, too.👏🏼

      Aww, yes, Charlotte’s Web is truly iconic. I haven’t read it in forever, but I really should give it another read soon, because it’s just adorable and heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time.

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  16. I haven’t paid much attention to classics before (maybe I should take a look at some XD). The only book up there I’ve read that you listed is Anne of Green Gables.

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  17. I used to hate classics, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to enjoy them a lot more. I ADORE Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. I also loved 1984 by George Orwell… it’s on my Everyone-Must-Read-This-Before-They-Die list. I really want to read more Jane Austen and works by the Brontes.
    Classics can definitely be hard to get through, but they are such important parts of our literature and our world. Sure, there are some that are pretty terrible, but there are some amazing classics with really valuable lessons out there. 🙂

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    • I have a similar experience- I never hated them, though, but I definitely appreciate them much more now than I did before. 😉 I STILL need to read Alice in Wonderland (and Peter Pan!!), and it’s kind of a crime that I haven’t yet, but it’s also exciting that I have such magical stories left to read. Okay, please don’t scream at me, but 1984 is probably my least favorite book ever.🙈I do appreciate it as a work of literature though?? So true, Charis- thank you for your insight on this!

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  18. oh my god, I don’t know why I struggle to read classic novels so much but I really truly do and it’s so BAD. especially because I’m so, so interested in so many of them?? SOME PEOPLE Just DON’T WORK FOR ME and I think when they’re required for me to read, I stall even more ahhh. actually, I stall for ANY required reading lmao even when I want to read it! i’ve really enjoyed some, like the scarlet letter, though, so I don’t think that I’m incapable of enjoying them aghasjdfj. also, I think I could read more as audiobooks but so many are narrated by these old men who have these deep voices and idk why… but I’m not a fan of listening to deep voices, and they’re kind of hard to understand. I JUST WANT MY MEDIUM PITCHED VOICES.

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    • Okay, yes, I have the most trouble with classics that are required reading! It’s like my brain is programmed to hate all books that are required reading even if it’s actually a good story.🙃I’m currently reading The Scarlett Letter for lang and it’s actually fairly good so far, though of course I am procrastinating it since I have to read it… HAHA, I never listen to audiobooks because I’m such a visual person, but I wouldn’t be able to last listening to an old man with a deep voice reading. I do like it when authors read their books, though I guess this can never happen with classics, sadly.

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  19. Little Women and Anne of Green Gables are also a couple of my favourite classics. I’m curious have you read any more books in the Anne of Green Gables series?

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  20. we stan an educated™ queen ❤️ im not the BIGGEST fan of classics but there are some that i really enjoyed reading in high school that i think are actual GEMS. i think some of my favorites were A TALE OF TWO CITIES and GREAT EXPECTATIONS. i really have to agree with you about being able to understand retellings and references too!! after reading THE INFERNAL DEVICES trilogy, i saw that Will Herondale made so many references to A TALE OF TWO CITIES for himself!!

    i’ve always been wanting to read Anne of Green Gables because i feel like it’s a classic that many people in the book community know! so hopefully i’ll be able to pick that up sometime soon ☺️

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    • Ahh, I really need to read Charles Dickens! So many people have mentioned his books in their comments and I’m just over here whispering, “I…haven’t read any of his books yet.”🙈I agree, understanding the retellings is so cool because it takes your whole reading experience to the next level!

      Aww, I really hope you get to read Anne soon, Tiffany- it’s seriously my favorite book and it’s like a little ray of sunshine in book form. Thank you for this comment, friend!💓

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  21. I don’t usually read classics, but I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve read! I wanna read more of Virginia Woolf, tho – I’ve only read A Room of One’s Own for an English lit class. 🙂

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  22. Yes. Anne is amazing. And so relatable. Like how she always gets into trouble but isn’t meaning to. And her big imagination. And how dramatic she is and how excited she got over a dress with puffed sleeves. Like, I’m sure I’d be that happy if someone gave me a dress with puffed sleeves.

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  23. YES, Austen! I need to update you on my Austen reading. Since listening to Pride and Prejudice on audiobook (agh I better have mentioned that at some point), I’ve gotten kind of hooked to listening to her books. It was narrated by Rosamund Pike, who I think is famous but not a name I was familiar with, and it was so good. She did different voices for each character. It was free on the iPhone iBook’s app, which was amazing. Now I’ve also listened to Persuasion and Mansfield Park.

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  24. Lovely post, Olivia! I ADORE classics! I also really love how you mentioned Anne of Green Gables, Little women, and Pride and Prejudice! Those are some of my absolute favorite classics! They’re honestly all such wonderful books in their own ways! One thing that I love about classics is how they challenge me as a reader, and it’s so nice how they’re common knowledge. Since so many people have read them, or at least understand the gist, it makes it easy to discuss them! I can always find someone to swoon over Mr. Darcy with! Hehe. ❤

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    • Thank you so, so much, Kelly!💗Those three you just named are probably my top three favorite classics, with the exception of also Jane Eyre. I love what you said about always being able to discuss them with someone! It’s so true- whether it’s someone on the blogosphere, in real life, my mom- people have read them and can scream about them with me. Thank you for your comment!! Happy reading🤗

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    • Ahh, Taasia, thank you so much!!💖I hope you were able some recommendations and if you do end up reading one of them, I really hope you love it. I always have trouble starting a classic, but once I get into it, I usually love it, haha! Happy reading to you as well!☺️

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  25. I WANT to be the reader that adores and finds comfort in the Classics. Especially since I have a degree in English. Like, it’s basically supposed to be a requirement that I love the classics, I’m pretty sure. I hold a special place in my heart for Shakespeare, But, I’ve always struggled my way through the rest before inevitably giving up and turning to the Cliffs Notes. I feel like I should give the Classics a second chance, but I find them so intimidating!

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    • Aww! I can definitely relate to turning to Cliff Notes. Sometimes classics are so overwhelming, especially when I literally have no idea what they’re saying. If you’re looking to give them another shot, I would recommend Anne of Green Gables or Little Women because they’re both fairly easy to understand and are wonderful stories!❤️

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  26. Great post! I love classics I am so happy someone promoting them and saying that everyone should read them. Most people assume that classics are something hard and heavy with boring stories, but this stereotype is something that is absolutely not true. Classics are diverse and there will always be one that a person would love if they try to seek them.

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