Hi, friends. I’ve been reading classic novels almost exclusively for over a year. What can I say? I’m not a casual reader; I study literature. Fantasy and Young Adult (aka teen love stories) are popular genres nowadays, but they’re not for me. [Though I admit to loving YA during adolescence/teen years]
I’ve made 12 “Classics” posts–10 of them are novels. Some people may wonder why I create those posts the way I do. I don’t “review” the books as in assign them a rating/ranking…if I’m just describing works that have been summarized 1,000 times already, what’s the point? Allow me to explain… [Bear in mind that these goals have been refined with time…so newer posts might be better than older posts]
Below are my 3 goals with “Classics” posts.
Clarify the Beginning
Confession time: I hate starting a new book! Weird, yeah? But the reason I hate starting new books is because the beginnings usually confuse me. For the first couple chapters, I find myself flipping back and forth, trying to keep track of characters or situations being introduced, attempting to orient myself in the world of the novel. Perhaps my preference for difficult books exacerbates that issue.
This is where my summary differs from most others–I assert that if people read my post on a classic work, they will find it much easier to catch onto what is happening if they read it themselves. I consciously write the summary in a way that clarifies the beginning.
Provide Basic Summary Without Spoilers
Luckily, I don’t see them often, but I don’t understand book reviews with spoilers. If I have read the book, then even an interesting review is still a re-hash. If I haven’t read the book, I don’t want to know spoilers. Gah! Anyways, this goal is self-explanatory. As with all my posts, the time-pressed blog-hopper can skim the summary thanks to my always highlighting the most important sentences.
Provide Fun/Interesting Trivia Facts
The first half of “Classics” posts gives a basic summary of a classic novel with subtle emphasis on clarifying the beginning. The second half gives 4-5 trivia facts about the novel or the author. I intend to make this section appealing to those who have or haven’t read the novel. The trivia facts vary greatly; they may give the work real-life context, describe the author’s attitude towards the work, reveal unknown facts about the initial manuscript or publication, note screen adaptations of the work, etc. I feel that providing those additional details about a classic makes it more relevant and memorable.
As a person who loves literature, I hope my “Classics” posts make classic works more accessible and appealing.
So, now you know what I want to accomplish with Classics posts. Do you like my approach? Thanks for reading!