When Anne Frank said to her diary Kitty, “Dear Kitty, the paper is more patient than man,” I felt it. You know why? Because I, too, confide in my diary rather than talking to someone about my feelings. And I am sure many others reach out to their books and diaries whenever they feel low.
At present, I am re-reading The Diary of a Young Girl. The beauty of reading books is that you picture the characters and locations according to your imagination. And you can let your imagination flow. When you can’t physically travel from one place to another, you must switch to books and travel to the worlds created by some marvelous authors.
Being a reader has been a blessing for me during this unprecedented time as I, sure, have traveled to a multitude of places just by sitting at home.
Well, today out of all the amazing books, I will talk about the value of reading classics. These books tend to evolve your personality. Every book is enriching but classics are valued for several reasons, I shall disclose later in the article.
Whether it is The Diary of a Young Girl or Pride and Prejudice, every book comes with its own lessons and has helped me develop my knowledge, and mental being. One bonus of reading classics is that you can watch a movie later too. Did you enjoy watching Little Women? I did and I always do love watching movies based on classics.
Here is why I think everyone must read a classic in a lifetime:
Classic books make you think deeply
A novel set in the present day feels relatable and that is why you can devour it. However, a novel set in the past makes you ponder. Your mind oscillates between the present day and the past.
There were times while reading The Diary of a Young Girl and thinking of how the situation is different today yet so similar. Anne Frank’s diary takes you to the time of World War II, and here in 2020, we are fighting a pandemic. While I think that we are lucky to have enough space and resources, but things like how a young girl feels in a lock-down situation, is nothing but the same today too. You can’t devour a classic, you ponder while reading.
For historical and literary references
As I said, you can’t just quickly read a classic. There are many literary and historical references in a classic that you need to know before you proceed further. So here is another reason to read a classic. While reading it, you will have to refer to the internet or encyclopedia to know the context of the literary and historical conferences used. So, you are not only reading but also increasing your knowledge. Along with understanding the situations, you learn a lot from the classic style of writing.
One of my favorite excerpts from Anne Frank’s diary was when Anne’s favorite pen gets burnt in fire and she writes in her diary that at least it was cremated. This immediately draws your attention to the writing style.
For values and social skills
There is a saying, “What you think is what you become” and a lot of your thoughts come from the content you consume in your daily lives. Hence, it is important to consume quality content.
A classic has characters woven by the situations of the past. As you dive deep into the reading, you start building a bond with the characters and hence familiarity with the situations.
Anne Frank’s diary took me to the times when people used to write letters to communicate their feelings. Coming back to the modern age and time, I hardly remember when I picked up a pen and paper to write a letter as today we live in a world of Whats-app and emails. There are n number of situations in the past that a classic introduces you. A classic is like a cloth woven by the threads of various historical events, situations, and values.
Refurbishing your vocabulary
The commercial novels nowadays rarely have any words for you need to open a dictionary. A classic will sure make you open one! If you wish to add some new words to your vocabulary bank then instead of picking up a commercial novel, pick a classic. Not just words, many times you will find other authors making away in a classic through their quotes and phrases. You will find references that you might not hear in the present world. While language will always defeat your vocabulary by adding new words, but you must keep competing in the race. Let others call you a walking Encyclopedia next time.
Classics are positive and motivational
Many might disagree with my belief that classics are motivating and positive. How can a narrative set in tragic times be inspiring? Well, if you think it the other way round, you will know what I mean here. When you compare the modern age with the past scenarios you will realize how blessed you are to be born in the present age.
Recounting the fact that I am born in a safe world fills my heart with hope. I tend to forget the other sufferings when I read a classic where sufferings are everyday phenomena and the characters find ways to discover the world which is free from pain and suffering yet. If you are planning to start reading, then we would suggest starting with these must-read books.
Summing up I would say, I don’t need plenty of reasons to pick my classic novel lying at the side table, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita as I am already very excited to explore the world of historical and literary references.
And by now, I think I have convinced you to pick a classic as well. Right?
Everyone must read every genre of books but reading a classic is something you must not miss if you are a reader.
So, here you go! Happy reading everyone! I hope after every classic you read, you will find your mind more peaceful and balanced.
For now, signing off until next post.
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