Why Bother Reading the Classics?

Books like Tolstoy’s War & Peace, DH Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby are all classics which have entered into the popular consciousness as cultural touch stones of literary significance.  With many people these days’ simply struggling to read a book, it is common to find yourself asking a simple question: why should I read the classics? In this blog posts we will attempt to address this issues and provide a relatively straight forward for giving these literary classics a good thumb through.

A Larger Vocabulary

When you read older books written in times gone by you quite often come across words that aren’t commonly used anymore. Figuring out what these words are and how they fit into the English language gives you a fuller arsenal of to use in when expressing yourself. This makes you more interesting to talk to and gives you greater scope to describe your concepts and ideas.

Improved Writing Ability

It’s a common cliché that the best writers are the best readers. This is because when you expose yourself to the best writing you subtlety learn how to use language more effectively. If you find yourself being swept up in exquisite prose then you are more likely to want to follow this style of writing in your on works, rather than rely on common tropes and worn expressions.

Becoming a Conversationalist

Nobody likes a dullard. Being able to carry a conversation in an interesting and engaging manner is not only a benefit for you, it’s also a great experience for those around you. If you are a better speaker, writer and speaking then fundamentally you are going to be a superior thinker. Being able to articulate yourself will make you stand out amongst your peers and hopefully make you a thoroughly more interesting person to be around.

New Ideas

Some might consider it ironic, but going through the classics is a brilliant way to both create and be exposed to new ideas. The reason these books have become classics is because they changed the way people thought when they were first published and to this day resonate with a modern audience. They express timeless ideas and relatable concepts that keep them constantly fresh and relevant. Some call this being in touch with the sublime, which is one of the most powerful things that you can expose yourself to. This is why going back to the tried and true can be a great way to find new ideas.