That gorgeously uninterrupted time when you snuggle with your imagination. When you travel to a faraway place you’ve never been to before, but you get to wear your most ridiculous jammies. When you experience life from another person’s eyes, but you’re still you…only a little better.
When I took my social media and blogging hiatus in September, I knew exactly how I was going to fuel my less technology driven world. With books.
Rather than scanning my Facebook feed while drinking my coffee in the morning, I read a chapter. Rather than coming up with 140 characters of sensational wit for a tweet, I read a few paragraphs. Rather than speeding on the social media freeway, I slowed down, pulled over even, and finished a great story.
Four great stories, actually.
At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to read during my month of remembering reading. My to-read list is substantial and there is plenty to choose from, but what I challenged myself to do is this…
Read the classics that slipped through my fingers.
You know the ones, right?
It’s that book that everybody hated in high school, but you read something else that everyone hated. It’s that book that’s always referenced in a discussion, joke, or film and you’re totally clueless. It’s that infuriating quote everybody likes to say. It’s that cool, infamous character you never got a chance to meet.
It’s that book.
Don’t ask me how, but these are the stories I missed out on over the years…
That’s right, Kiddos. I missed The Catcher in the (freaking) Rye!
Although it took my American ass fifty or so pages to understand the language, Pride and Prejudice was my favorite of the four. But, I surprisingly ended up loving Salinger’s gritty little number for very different reasons.
I’ve decided to continue my classics tackling book project in October.
See that picture of me and Aphrodite the cat up there? Besides my bird-covered pajama pants matching her pink nose, the book we’re finally reading on my Kindle is—wait for it—Jane (freaking) Eyre.
Wow! You missed that one too, Britt?!
You know something? I always hear people say they don’t have time to read. Always.
Naturally, as a writer this scares the crap out of me. It appears there are still a few of us out there squeezing in quality time with books, so I’m gonna keep writing some.
We can blame our jobs, obligations, and to-do lists. That’s the easy thing to do. But I think if we all really look at how we’re spending our spare time, we can make more room for reading.
Is that TV show really better than the incredible book collecting dust on your shelf? Is everybody’s business on social media honestly more entertaining than a story an author took years to create?
I think you know what the answer is. Remember reading…it’s good stuff.
So, I have to know. Which classics did you guys miss out on that you either read in recent years, or are going to grab and read right now?
46 thoughts on “Remembering Reading”
First of all, those pajamas are fantastic!
Now that I got that out of the way, I have a copy of Moby Dick that’s been sitting on my shelves collecting dust for a couple of years (i.e. seven). Why I don’t read it, I’m not sure (my love of whales? haha!).
Ha, thanks! They’re my fave.
I’ve never read Moby Dick either…dang! It’s funny how there are those classics that we think about or look at but can’t seem to pick the thing up and read it. I think this is an interesting writer test for me more than anything. I know I’m not going to fall in love with all of the classics I’m finally exploring. In fact, I may not like some of them at all! But, I do find it intriguing to study the styles, characters, plots, etc. and see what the big deal is.
I’m having a reading marathon at the minute Britt, though not the classics. I used to think I must read the classics and then I thought, hey, life’s too short to make myself read things I’m not attracted to. That doesn’t mean I haven’t read any of them – I read Pride and Prejudice this year – never thought I’d like it as I’m not that kind of girl, but I gave in and I actually enjoyed it. I thought Jane Eyre was quite good (read that a long time ago) but it’ll be interesting to know your take on it – you might want to read this when you’ve finished it: http://bidisha-online.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/from-jane-eyre-to-clarissa-dalloway.html (Thanks to Naomi Frisby at http://thewritesofwoman.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/in-the-media-5th-october-2014/ for linking to the article). I read quite a few American classics when I was younger – I applied to study American Studies as you got to go to the US for a year but I didn’t get in!Really couldn’t get into Moby Dick at all – hated it with a passion.
Life is definitely too short! I was very anti-classics for so many years after I finished school that it’s kind of fun to check them out, especially now that I’m into writing. Call it my own Indie Author general ed course. I may not like some of them, but they’re still interesting to explore.
Pride and Prejudice really surprised me and Jane Eyre too!
LOL! People seem to have strong feelings about Moby Dick, another one I missed!
I used to read a lot but that is in the past, now i love audiobooks some are so good it is like if you are right there… Please visit Robert from 101 books he is reading all the classics too 🙂
Interesting! I’ve never been into audiobooks as I do really love to experience words visually. Of course, I’m a writer too. So that’s half the fun for me!
Lovely post…yes, I have also switched in the classics. Vonnegut and Salinger are great…Read the Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde…reading today gives a totally different perspective than what it was years back.
Was it the passion of the artist or the obsession of the subject? Or was it both, the obsession and the passion? The thought that we can separate the soul from our body, is a real fascinating thought. We all wish that we remain young forever.
More in – http://nrpin.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/portrait-passion-or-obsession/
I’d like to read more Vonnegut, for sure! Interesting thoughts. 🙂
Classics are magical…the more we read today’s literature the more we miss the magic of yesteryear’s brilliance. I was once again going through the “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka…in every word and every sentence there is nugget of profound meaning and message…Yes, I am also looking forward to read Vonnegut.
I just loved The Alchemist. At the moment I’ve gone back to another fave, “Haroun and the Sea of Stories” by Salman Rushdie. I just can’t get enough 😉
It was really cool! I’ll have to check that one out. 🙂
A timely post redirecting me to what’s really important in life..BOOKS!! haha. I feel I need a social media break as well and your post just encourages me even more to switch off the chatter and turn on ‘la fantasia’.
American classics I’ve read in my younger days are; The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, Uncle Tom’s Cabin to name a few. Of course, being born in Europe we were more focused on the continent’s classics. I never read “How to kill a Mockingbird” though. Is it good? Honestly, my to-read-list is probably gonna take longer than my suspected life span so I prefer to read the ones I’m most drawn to right now.
I love what you said about your to-read list being longer than your suspected life span. Same here! 🙂
I say definitely read the books you are most drawn to. Me, I was curious about the classics I chose, but there are some I wouldn’t prioritize. To Kill A Mockingbird is worth your time.
I keep telling myself I need to read some classics again, to feel that fire for writing which originally was spawned by classics like Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Great Gatsby. Thanks for a wonderful reminder to kick my arse in gear!
Totally, Kate! You should do it. It’s a fun theme to work with.
I was at that point with my reading this year, what little I was able to squeeze in with all the writing, where I wanted to take a break from Indie’s and new books for the classics. I reread Gatsby earlier this summer and really loved it…unlike in high school when I totally wasn’t ready for it.