I know I haven't been active for a while (…again…) because university is a lot more stressful than I imagined and I needed some time to adjust before I started getting involved in blogging more than I thought I would. I do plan to get back soon, I promise, barring anything weird or unforeseen.
But I've been thinking about some things lately, and while I don't normally do discussion posts like this, or at all, I thought I wanted to today. Feel free to ignore it, or whatever, especially since as you probably guessed by the post's title, this (shortish) post is about classics.
But Annabelle, you might be thinking. Isn't this a YA/MG/NA/occasionally-adult book blog? And contemporary? Whyever would you make a post about classics (that probably like 2% of people will even read)?
Well, firstly, if even a single person reads this post all the way through, I've done something. As to why I am speaking of classics at all, that you'll have to read on to find out.
I know that probably most of you aren't interested in classics. There are all sorts of various reasons, I'm sure–you have to read too many for school, they're boring and more focused on characters than on plot, they're irrelevant and outdated, etc. Believe me, I've heard all of these and felt them too. My parents were always trying to get me to read more classics and I ran through pretty much every excuse you can imagine.
But classics are gorgeous. I'm not saying they don't have issues, particularly social ones. It doesn't make them awful books, and it doesn't mean they're not worth reading. The main problem, from what I've seen, is people now like plot-based books–myself included. But if that is all you ever read, you're missing out on so much.
Almost everyone I know knows how much dislike Ernest Hemingway's books from the small sample I have had–The Old Man and the Sea made me both angry and sad at the same time and The Sun Also Rises bored me to tears. After being forced to read those two books in school, I thought that I would never read another Hemingway book by choice again. And yet.
Despite my reservations and prejudices, I picked up A Farewell to Arms because it was very important to someone close to me. His favorite book, actually. (By the way, if you're not willing to read a book that is important to someone close to you for almost any reason, I'm judging you. I never judge, but that's the exception.)
And, you guys, I have never loved a book so deeply and so painfully and so wonderfully and so intensely and so wholly to the point where by the time I had finished I was absolutely sobbing and literally falling apart at the seams. Oh my god, I had never experienced anything like that. I had never felt so raw, or so ripped apart, or so emotionally drained. You think I am exaggerating. I am not.
A Farewell to Arms is one of my five favorite books of all time. And all because I was willing to give it a chance, despite everything. This happened over three years ago now, but the memory of finishing the book for the first time is as clear as if it happened yesterday. Every time I read it now, I am reminded of how lovely it is. And I would give so much if I could go back and read it again for the first time. That's how much I loved it.
What I'm trying to say in probably the most confusing and roundabout way possible is that you should pick up a classic every once in a while. Maybe it's not what you want to hear, and most of you probably still won't, and that's okay. What you read is your business. But, from my heart, I want to remind you that it doesn't hurt to try something different once in a while.
Until I see you again, my dears!
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