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Saturday, September 28, 2013
Hi guys!

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have to read too many for school, they're boring and more focused on characters than on plot, they're irrelevant and outdated, etc.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.

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!

Lovelovelove,

18 comments:

  1. Great post Annabelle! It's great to see you back :D And I'm glad my tweet cheered you up xD
    Anyway, I LOVE classics. I find that, like you said, it is good to have a variety. I think reading only YA/NA, honestly, isn't healthy for me. I like to increase my reading span besides that, and I really enjoy classics! I have personally not read, A Farewell To Arms, so maybe I'll add it to my list!
    Yes, Classics may be a bore, but it always has something to reveal to us, and is typically deeper than our YA/NA. It also helps improve our literature! I find a lot of time well spent reading them !
    I think we should widen our span; to many people feed their readers with just YA/NA. Thanks for putting that up Annabelle :) It's great to see more people promoting for others to read classics!
    Glad to see you're back! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I could not agree more. For some reason I got away with not reading a lot of the classics in school. The only one I really remember being forced to read is The Odyssey and some Shakespeare. But since I finished school, I've read The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and 1984, all of which I have liked to loved. I DNFed Jane Eyre because I just couldn't do the writing. Same with Dracula. But I will try again someday. Reading the classics are IMPORTANT. I have a whole list of them that I want to read. So thank you for promoting them through this post. I am glad one affected you so deeply.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read a classic now and then...usually Austen, Bronte, Alcott...Poe but yes it is very rare. I have to be in that MOOD you know? I've never read The Old Man and the Sea. I'll have to take a look at Farewell to Arms description.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hope you get a break from school soon. :)

    I love classics. I don't read them all the time- but I do read them from time to time and have many favorites. Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books. :) So glad you took a chance on Farewell to Arms based on the special person in your life. :)

    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  5. I could not agree more. For some reason I got away with not reading a lot of the classics in school. The only one I really remember being forced to read is The Odyssey and some Shakespeare. But since I finished school, I've read The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and 1984, all of which I have liked to loved. I DNFed Jane Eyre because I just couldn't do the writing. Same with Dracula. But I will try again someday. - See more at: http://www.sparkles-and-lightning.com/2013/09/lets-talk-about-classics.html#sthash.zAq4dXub.dpuf
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