Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Classical Dilemma

So maybe I’m going at the “reading the classics” the wrong way.

Yesterday Keith and I were trolling Borders for books on my Top 100 list. I ended up rejecting any that we found because they were too long (one was in two volumes!) or, upon reading the back cover, seemed too abstract and artsy.

It seems that combining reading the classics with an annual reading goal is counterproductive. Because whenever I pick up something that seems the least bit daunting (nearly everything on the list), all I can think is “it would take me forever to read this!”

But really, I feel like I need to set goals for reading the classics because, for the most part, they’re hard work. There’s a million books out there that are easier to read, more fast-paced, etc. And of course I intersperse those amongst the classics. (I’m very excited to start The Man Who Loved Jane Austen at lunch today!). But I do want to read these influential, ground-breaking novels. So I make a list, and give myself a deadline. And then don’t read the books because I don’t think I’ll make the deadline. Oh, and whine about how difficult it all is.

After one trip around the store, I did end up going back and getting Don Quixote because, while the list is 99% unnumbered, they did list Don Quixote as the #1 novel of all time, so I am definitely intrigued. Besides, if high schoolers taking Spanish can read it, surely I can. Right?

1 comment:

cat said...

Heh. I read Don Quixote en espanol in Honors Spanish IV. What sucks is that for the amount of time I spent going back and forth between the dictionary, I lost all track of the story. It ended up as one big grammar exercise. Lucky for me, it was an extra-credit project that I could abandon, and did, because I was already getting an A. I only started it as an insurance policy.

So, enjoy Don. Tell him I said "Whassup."