Why Read Classics

When I was younger, I made a goal one summer to read 20 classic books in one summer. My classics ranged from epic poetry about Greek heroes to science fiction books that my parents thought of as classics. I read so many things and I reached my goal. I have often thought about that summer since it happened. I ask myself often about why I’m doing what I’m doing.

I’m struggling to read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand right now, and I’ve caught myself considering that summer over and over. Why should I be so worried about reading a classic if it’s not fun to read? What is the point of reading a book that is making me want to tear my hair out of my scalp? Well, I’ve tried to come up with a good reason, but I’m not so sure that I’ve got one.

Classics are old. The issues they deal with might be timeless, but they are old books. There’s a lot going on in the current times. I have a wishlist of poetry books that I want to read that concern themselves with mental health and sexuality and so many more things that I can’t find in classic books. So why did I bother reading them?

The better question is why are classic books still around? What made them last so long that I hear about them? Why are other people reading them?

I’m not saying that this is a good reason, but it’s the reason that I have. I want to know what makes this book more important to others. I want to know why this language is so important to people. What message did others learn that made them admire the book? It’s curiosity that drove me to read most of the classics that I did.

But Ayn Rand is particularly difficult. There’s something dense about her language. I’ve read all the reviews that I can, but it doesn’t appear that anyone else knows any better than I do about why I should be reading this book. There are people on both sides of the fence yelling at each other, but that isn’t much of a reason for me to come down. Her messages are clear from the beginning and the writing lacks a certain something that makes the book interesting.

I’m not saying that I won’t finish Atlas Shrugged, but I know that this will be one of the longer reads that I have to deal with. It’s not even just the length of the book, I’ve read longer books that went by pretty fast. It’s the fact that I’m not enjoying it that really makes it a longer read, but it is some of the least entertaining reading that I’ve been doing.My plan was

My original plan was to put out a full review of the book next week, but I won’t be able to manage all the reading that I need to do to reach that goal. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next week, but I’ll figure out something interesting to write about.


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