Below is a post from Melissa Chan on Why I Love the Classics. I have fallen in LOVE with her site Literary Books and Gifts. She is offering a discount code for Becky's Bookshelves Readers. It is at the end of this post!
Why I Love the Classics
When I was young, I spent a lot of time in a used book store. There were calendars of the year, CD's so scratched that they no longer played, and dime store paperbacks, but what this store had was a great deal of was classic novels. My family and I would spend many Saturdays trading in our used books and boardgames in, racking up credits to be spent in the store on other books. I'd spend long hours in the stacks searching for new titles that I could bring home and later swap again. The local library still constituted most of my reading material but there was just something different about these books. The covers, the leading, the typography, the overall look and feel. They had travelled such a far distance to be there, at that time, in that bookstore, for our enjoyment. This, I believe was the beginning of my lifetime love of classic novels, literature, and everything about them.
Here are just a few reasons why I love classic literature.
The physical copies themselves
New versions of books, eBooks, and audiobooks are all fantastic ways to distribute, consume, and share the stories within the novels. Their low cost and efficiency makes them a great option for many. Classic novels in their original formats will often have lovely and antique physical copies that match the stories. Sometimes printed during the time they were written, but often many years after, they will look and feel different than newer glossy covered books. I love old book covers and their artwork. Sometimes weathered with time and slightly distressed with age. I'd often remove a plain looking dust jacket only to find gorgeous cover artwork laying beneath, as if finding a box of treasure. Like watching a period piece film, original copies of classic novels give off the same notion, and one I cannot seem to get enough of while browsing old copies of books.
The historical context
Just like the physical copies of a book, no matter how lovely do not effect the story itself, the history behind a book does not either. However this does not mean that it does not have an effect on the book after it has been published. Since the classics were published such a long time ago, their authors have had a chance to live and exist throughout history. No reading of William Shakespeare's works is complete without at least a few facts surrounding his life and how he lived. After reading Edgar Allan Poe's unique and intriguing work, one might wonder about who he was as a person and perhaps pick up a copy of a biography on his life. History has the ability to give context above and beyond the pages of the book, I love that practically every classic novel comes with it's own backstory for further reading.
My favorite books tend to be classics
Maybe I'm a little biased, but Moby Dick by Herman Melville is one of my favorite novels. Recently I have been reading a great deal of 20th century literature and have found many new favorites there, but previous to this most of the books I have enjoyed best have been none other than classics. Reading Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley and Dracula by Bram Stoker was my first introduction into the horror genre and I'm glad I picked them up from the classics bookshelf first.
Classics have long been the choice books of many readers. I'm glad that they were written and have accumulated over time so that readers such as myself have the option to pick them up and try them out.
Do you read the classics? Do you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments below.
BeckysBookshelves20 is the promo code, good for 20% off anything in the Literary Book Gifts store, no minimum, and does not expire. The Literary Book Gifts products are wonderful and would make incredible Christmas Gifts.