As an English student, there are certain books that people expect to have read and enjoyed. In reality, many of the canonical classics are sat abandoned on my bookshelf, with scraps of paper marking the point where I gave up on them, usually around 100 pages in. I used to feel bad about this but now I’m shameless in abandoning books that I don’t enjoy. If it’s not for my course, I’m reading it for fun and I just don’t have time to suffer through books because I ‘should’ read them. One day, I may re-attempt them but for now, they’re gathering a lot of dust on my bookshelf.
This always feels like a crime to admit but I cannot get through Pride and Prejudice. I’ve tried, believe me, but always call it a day before I’m even halfway through. I want to enjoy it, or at least read it since it’s always popping up on my courses or at least in conversation. I’ve shelved it for now, with the attention of trying one more time when I have graduated and have a little more time to dedicate to it. Maybe it will be one that I take my time with, reading a chapter or so at a go, in order to limit my frustration.
Jane Eyre should have been a hit with me. I love gothic books and popular culture means that I know all the spoilers for this one. Said spoilers certainly hint that it’s up my street but I’ve never been able to get to the juicy bits before I cast it aside in boredom. Can we start the creepy bits a little earlier please?
Charles Dickens has always been a challenge for me. I had to read Great Expectations for a class and that made me do it but I can’t bring myself to read anything else. I think a lot of it is the size of the texts if I’m honest! If only they were still published as serials, I may have more of a chance with something like Oliver Twist or Bleak House.
I read Anna Karenina in a second-year course and surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it. Even if I struggled with working out all the names, I suddenly got the hype. In the aftermath of this excitement, I decided to give War and Peace a try…This plan was quickly abandoned as I just couldn’t cope with the first few chapters. I did love the BBC adaptation though, so surely U get some credit for that. Right?
Everyone always tells me that I HAVE to read A Clockwork Orange but I just can’t bring myself to do it. One look at all that complicated language and I was out! Again, maybe one day I will give this a go but for now, I can’t bear to even give it a go.
Which classic books have you not read?