Love for Classic Fiction

booksIn 2007, I was working in Washington, DC when I heard some of my coworkers discussing an article that had recently been published. The article was a list of their version of the best 100 books of all time. The thesis of this article was that many individuals had not read these novels. As an avid reader, I thought for sure that I for one could disprove their thesis. Then I read the list and realized how very wrong I was. I was one of those individuals who hadn’t even read 10 of the novels on that list. Many people disagreed about what novels made it on that list, but I hadn’t even read the ones that they wanted to add to the list. I felt ashamed. How could I love reading so much and not have read at least half of these listed novels??!! That was when I viewed this article as a challenge. I was going to put down whatever new mystery had just come out and was going to start reading novels and short stories from all time periods. This decision opened a whole new world for me. This is when reading stopped being a task I enjoyed whenever I had free time and began to be part of who I am.

I mostly read classic fiction now. The wordย “classic” seems to be a word of contention amongst everyone I know. It is commonly agreed that “classics” are novels that have withstood the test of time. That to me is still a bit vague, so I personally classify “time” as 25 years. If a novel is still well known and read a quarter of a century after publication, I say that deserves the term “classic.”

Since 2007, reading has become a never-ending source of happiness, relaxation, and fulfillment for me like it never was before. What are your favorite novels (doesn’t have to be classic fiction)?

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6 thoughts on “Love for Classic Fiction

  1. there’s many older books i truly love, but i’d have to say that my all-time favorite (somewhat contemporary) classic is “Catch-22”. it stirs my emotions with every re-read ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I reread The Once and Future King almost every year, and Shogun every other year. I’m always surprised how much I still enjoy them.

  3. Too many good classics to say I have a favorite. I read Camille once or twice a year and my copy of John Steinbeck’s King Arthur book is falling apart (though it doesn’t help that its older than i am). Class is keeping me from Hemingway, otherwise I’d get distracted and homework would never happen. I’m also quite determined that Neil Gaiman’s books are going to be classics – rereading them is always time well spent ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Every Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
    Almost everything by L.M. Montgomery (exception is “Kilmeny of the Orchard”)
    “The Mists of Avalon” by Marian Zimmer Bradley
    “Raffles” by E. Hornung

    (And since you’re in Italy, I recommend “The Second Duchess” by Elizabeth Loupas — it takes the poem “My Last Duchess” by Browning and turns it into a murder mystery set during the Renaissance.)

    • I agree with L.M. Montgomery. I have re-read her books so many times, and they’re how I finally got my sister hooked on reading. I also really like Jane Eyre ( and its many retellings).
      I would say my favorite classics fall into what is commonly considered children’s literature, but I find that truly classic novels have no age limits. A Wrinkle in Time and The Secret Garden are still enthralling. The last time I got a student to start A wrinkle, she finished it before the end of the school day. There’s a Monster at the End of this Book brings the house down, I could (and have) read it multiple times in a row.

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