New Year's Resolution - Read One Classic Novel
January 30, 2014
My book group has a tradition. Every December, we read and discuss a classic novel. I have to admit that without the inspiration of my fellow librophiles, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to dust one off.
I’m not a Jane Austen fan. Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t even watch Downton Abbey. My attitude used to be, why take the time to read something written fifty or two hundred years ago? New, exciting titles come out every day. Read something that’s "good for me"? Voluntarily? Who has time for that?
But my group of brave, curious readers inspired me. Surely, I could take my classic novel medicine once a year if we all did it together.
Guess what? It turns out we enjoy the linguistic challenges! We enjoy the archaic characters! Some of the old, familiar plots are real page turners! Reading the classics has turned out to be good for us; it's more like a spoon full of sugar than a bitter pill.
So, I invite you to join us in our once-a-year classic novel resolution.
Here’s how we got started. I’d call all of these pretty accessible classics:
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (Classic-lite, written in 1972.)
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (You’ve seen the movies, try the original.)
- The Giver by Lois Lowry (An award-winning, children’s classic with a lot of punch.)
- The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (A lavish movie in words.)
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. (It’s time to read this one again.)
Once you're hooked, here's another really cool thing. If you have a device that you can download eBooks to, you can own the older classics for free. Check the Gutenberg Project for classic novels that have gone into the public domain.
If you’re still reluctant to take on oldie-but-goodies all alone, find an MCPL book group near you that reads them. And please join us in Kearney next December. I don’t know what the title will be yet, but it’ll be good and good for you!