Why Do We Read the Classics by Melissa Chan – Guest Post

Why Do We Read the Classics by Melissa Chan – Guest Post

Today on the blog we welcome Melissa Chan from Literary Book Gifts, with her guest post ‘Why Do We Read the Classics‘, taking you on a journey via the classics.

Melissa Chan

Melissa Chan loves reading classic novels. She is the designer and founder of the online bookish store Literary Book Gifts, which specializes in creating unique gifts for book lovers, writers, and readers of all ages.

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Why Do We Read the Classics

New books are being published everyday. It seems like every other week there is a new bestselling author selling out millions of copies with a film adaptation in the works. Authors are constantly promoting their work along with publishers, bookstores, and adoring fans.

With all the marketing and excitement that surrounds new releases, it can be hard to understand why anyone bothers reading books that were written hundreds if not thousands of years ago. In most cases their rights have expired and the authors are no longer alive to promote their works.

So why is it that we still love, revere, and above all, read the classics? Hopefully these reasons will give you a better understanding of just what makes these books so popular after so many years. And who knows, perhaps you will want to pick one up at your local library the next time you drop by.

The are a part of culture

Love them or hate them, famous and well-known classic novels are a part of culture. I know I disliked a few books that I had to read as a part of the school curriculum, while thoroughly enjoying others that were required reading for class. If you were to mention the very well known, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, I’m sure most people in the room would have at least a vague idea of what you were talking about. That it was a book about a whale, Ishmael, and a journey on the sea. Many might never have read the book, but still know such details. If you asked them how or when they picked up this information they would probably not even be able to tell you. It could be said this is common knowledge. Thus as a part of culture, some, or many will inevitably pick up Melville’s classic sometime during their life.

The are the canonical versions of many works

Dracula is a word that is almost synonymous with ‘Vampire’. Vampires have seen a major rise in pop culture popularity in the recent years. I’ve enjoyed many of the modern renditions myself as seen on the big and small screen, as well as on books and even in music. But the word Dracula is the title and character of Bram Stoker’s famous classic, published in 1897. Any who has read the thrilling novel know that many of today’s vampires share many of the characteristics of the iconic Count Dracula. So many of today’s books and movies draw from characters of past literature. Classics represent many of the paradigmatic versions of our best loved characters of today.

They have been tested by time

When I flip through books at the bookstore I know I don’t like everything I read. I love new books, and read them all the time. But with classic novels you know that many years, and even in some cases centuries have passed and that they are still around and in the bookstore. I have often experienced the same at movie theaters. Seeing an movie on opening day before the reviews come out has it’s risks. If the numbers come out the next day that it was a box office failure I may have been less likely to want to head to the movie theater and by a ticket to see it for myself. Classics have been around for such a long time that they don’t run into these types of risks. Perhaps we read them for the hope that they will be better as an average, although I know that this is not always necessarily the case.

Thanks for reading a few reasons why we read classics novels. Do you read classic novels? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.

I would like to say thank you to Melissa for her lovely guest post. You can check out Melissa’s fabulous literary store at – www.literarybookgifts.com

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks Melissa for a wonderful guest post. I’ve only ever read a couple of classics, though there are so many that look good, it is just the old language that is sometimes hard to decipher.

  2. Emma Mane says:

    I’ve not read any classics since school. I think sometimes school shoves the classics down out throat that by the time we leave we don’t want to read another.

  3. I’m really bad with the classics too. I would love to read some of them but the language puts me off.