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Classically Lacking


How many of the classic books have you read? Me, well you know how I love to read? I am rarely without at least one book started and maybe another that I am half way through. (Currently I am reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and It Wakes in Me by Kathleen O'Neal Gear.) I have always thought working in a library would be an ideal place for me. Books? Good! Organization? GOOD!

Alas, I have read none of the true classics. I have never sat down for an evening of Jane Austen (except in movie form- we watched Becoming Jane last night) or Emily Bronte. Mr. Whitman or Mr. Twain? Nope, never read 'em. Homer? Gasp- I know Will sat through the film version of the Odyssey (twice), I haven't even done that. I lived in 1984, but the book? Nope, never read it.

Will asked me to pick up a few books at a local resale shop for him to take while deployed. He recently finished The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli , and is therefore already way ahead of me on the classic book reading list. Yesterday the girls and I went to Bookmans, armed with list in hand. Gwennie was napping in the stroller as I went through the fiction books alphabetically. Then I headed over to the non-fiction section. I stopped and felt overwhelmed because I had no idea what genre most of those books were. An older gentleman who worked there asked me if I needed help. Originally I had planned to just find what I could on my own, but we had already spent forty-five minutes at the store. I showed him my list, and told him what I was getting. He started to help me, finding about ten more books in a short time.

I ended up with twenty-two classics, from different genres. Will told me he only plans to take six and then we can swap them out as he finishes the ones he takes. He is listening to Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen on audio book (borrowed from the library for free) at the moment. So he will probably not take Pride and Prejudice with him, I think when I have finished the two books I am reading now, I will start that book. I will force myself to read some classics.

I spent so much on used books that the cashier asked me if I was a teacher, she gave me a ten percent discount for spending so much money. (We also bought a few books for the girls including one called Not One Damsel in Distress by Jane Yolen.

1 comment:

Alex's Human said...

How great that you have this as a goal!! Over the past two years I have listened to many classic audio books; ie War and Peace, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, The Wind in the Willows, Atlas Shrugged, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, The Secret Garden, The Communist Manifesto (some of which you can download for free from Freeclassicaudiobooks.com and ejunto.com), and I just downloaded Emma..

Good luck with War and Peace. I listened to it for 60+ hours and, being as there are over 500 characters, it was kind of rough at times. For almost two hours there was a drawn out section where they go fox hunting. It is a LONG book and, well, I'll just say I was kind of glad when it was over..

As for actually READING the classics, aside from the ones that I can't really recall reading in high school, I've read several, including the 1400+ page Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, which I really enjoyed. And I recently started the first in a trio of books by Faulkner; The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Light in August.

I think some of the classics are overrated, and they can be difficult to read at times, but it's still a far more worthwhile way to spend your time than watching tv..

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