Why you should read the classics ? And which ones ?
Classics are basically the books that have stood the test of time. If you are reading a book that has existed for more than 50 years and is still being read, it is probably on its way to being a classic. Quoting Norwegian Woods, “He made it a rule to never read a book by any author, who had not been dead at least 30 years. That’s the only kind of book I can trust. It’s not that I don’t believe in contemporary literature but I don’t want to waste valuable time reading any book that has not had the baptism of time.”
Classics will improve your vocabulary. Even the phrases commonly used today are derived from Shakespeare plays and other classics. Reading these books will expand your vocabulary. Classics teach you something valuable and it is often something that you already know but need an external medium to put it before you. That is the purpose of literature, to make humanity understand itself.
Classics can also be challenging. Some books like Moby Dick or Shakespeare are truly a linguistic challenge to read and understand. These can help in extending your brain power and making it smarter. More than solving puzzles. Moreover, classics provide you with a firsthand experience about culture and history. The books written by those old authors during their own time will make you understand that era with a wave of familiarity. And at least you won’t be dumb when people are making literary references and jokes.
Now I have already talked about why you should read classics, as for WHICH ONES, every person has their own taste. I have met people who adore Pride and Prejudice and Emma but Jane Austen has never been the one for me. My choices are more Charlotte Bronte, F Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Albert Camus.
There are varieties of classics out there in different genres and it is all about finding out what YOUR taste is. Some of the common widely adores classics that you MUST read are: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, 1984 & Animal Farm by George Orwell, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, A tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Wind in the willows by Kenneth Grahame, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and The secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.