6 Reasons Why People Should Read Classic Novels

Taking a look at how the English language has changed drastically, can help people to understand why it is so important to embrace classic novels. Like clothes, trends, and technology change over time, the languages people speak understandably evolve too. The way people form sentences, greet people, and overall communication with others is no longer the same as what it was centuries or even decades ago. In modern times, it is important to embrace the language that has influenced people, but there is also value in reading classic novels by praised authors. Studying works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Emily Brontë, for example, can benefit people more than they might have expected. 

  1. 1. Understand the Reality

    Part of human nature is to find the simplest way to do something and work “smart, not hard.” Reading classic novels may be challenging, yet it is worth the time and effort. Although finding the translations to older novels may be tempting because it will make the reading experience much more relaxing, this will not be enriching in any way. One option is to have the translation side-by-side to the real text to be able to see how the language has changed and fully understand the meaning of words that are no longer commonly used. The better option is to not have a translation next to the novel, but this all depends on readers’ preferences. Know that regardless of how difficult it may be to read an older novel, the reward is well worth it.

  2. 2. Develope Advance Diction

    By simply reading classic novels, a person is quite likely to refine their vocabulary. This can not only be useful for people learning a new language, but reading can aid even the most proficient speakers in their native language. One of the benefits is being able to feel more confident in one’s writing and speaking skills. Presenting in front of a crowd or writing a 15-page paper will no longer seem like a daunting task, but a challenge that can be met with confidence. A person with an improved vocabulary can impress their friends, family, co-workers, and interviewers too. What is a better way to prove one’s worthiness to a future employer than by showing how professional one can be in something as simple as the way they express themselves? 

  3. 3. Write it Down

    Going through different novels does not have to mean finishing them and then putting them back on the shelf. It is great to keep track of new and unfamiliar words by writing them down in a small notebook or paper. By having that list nearby, it ensures the definitions will be there when the reader comes across those words again. After reading the terms a few times, they will start to become a part of one’s dictionary.

  4. 4. Learn About Politics and History

    If political or historical events are interesting for someone, they may find novels, such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or 1984 by George Orwell, difficult to put down. Authors like Lee and Orwell have their characters mirror certain issues occurring in the real world. Their stories have messages behind them and they mean for readers to learn from the characters in their books. Diving deep into these stories can provide readers with a new perspective on famous, historical events or situations not far from home today.

  5. 5. The Classics are Timeless

    Books about vampires or wizards may be exciting to read, but it is the stories by authors like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and F. Scott Fitzgerald that have stood the test of time. Other writers have come and gone and are long forgotten, so when books like The Great Gatsby are still being taught to children in schools and are being sought out by adults in libraries, it is simply because the writing is excellent. The characters, events, and messages within these texts are presented in such a way that they can connect with people regardless of in which period in time they were born. The characters are flawed, yet relatable, the events wild, yet understandable, and the messages hidden, yet they resonate with readers. Books that tell stories like these are preserved for these reasons, and they do not disappoint.

  6. 6. Watch the Film!

    One way to make this experience rewarding is to watch the film of a novel. If available, it can be very interesting to see how characters come to life in a two-hour movie. A book provides a character’s most private, inner thoughts and feelings, so seeing how they are portrayed in films can help readers to gain an even more realistic picture of what their lives could have been like if they existed. After a long few days or weeks of flipping through the pages of a classic novel, watching the movie is an entertaining way to finish off the experience!

Photo Credit: Andrea Leyva