Beginners Guide to start reading Classic Literature

For every book lover classics are a must-read, but sometimes the idea of not being able to understand what all the hype is about can discourage us from finally picking the first book and submerge ourselves into this apparently superior world of literature that every connoisseur seems to love and recommend.

Truth is that classic literature is not as complex as it seems. Each reading experience is completely personal and you can either add or discard any of these books according to your preferences, but hopefully, this book path will be one of the friendliest ones you find to start your classic journey.

Defining Classic Books

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Classics are more than just old stories that everyone has at least heard of. They are characterized by their artistic quality, universal attractiveness, being timeless, and their ability to bring relevance to further generations; so although not any book can fall under this denomination, even contemporary works can also be considered as such if they meet these specifications.

They are all about their beauty. The way in which they portray that time’s ambiance, lifestyle, and even language to develop its plots and captivate readers from different backgrounds or generations, are what makes them very rewarding to read.

Classics remain popular for a reason and they are never impossible to read, you just need to start from the basics and work your way through all these amazing literature pieces.

Starting by author

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It is true that some authors are more complex than others. Some prioritize environment descriptions over plot development, some have a lot of “main characters” while others just have three, or even the word selection can vary a lot from one another, so this list has been put together according to the type of complexity you may be looking to experiment with.

– Children’s classics: not because these works are categorized for children it means that they won´t connect with an older audience, in fact, we are sure that a lot of these authors have been most people’s favorites since their childhood. Some of them can be Lewis Carrol, C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery or Roald Dahl. If you need an infallible startpoint, then this is it.

– Jane Austen: one of the exponents of British classics and novels, whose stories are so delightful to get into, has such a unique and romantic writing style that encourages imagination over complex reasoning. She is very logical and structured while presenting the plotline, making it easy for the reader to fully take and enjoy the essence of her stories. If you love romance novels as well as imagining the settings as they are developed, then this is the right start for you.

– Virginia Woolf: also known as one of the best novelists of the 20th century, she is really good at describing, through lyricism, the consciousness of her characters as well as the material realm of reality around which the plot is developed. If you are into deep descriptions and really getting into the characters head, then this is the right start for you.

– William Shakespeare: he was mostly known for his plays and poems so his use of similes and metaphors were the main attributes of his works. He is the creator of the Shakespearean writing style where his phrases are very metrical (sometimes rhetorical) and humor can be found in many of his plays. If you love identifying and interpreting metaphors while reading humorist plots, then you should give him a try.

– Charles Dickens: one of the greatest novelists from the Victorian Era. He writes in such a poetic, satirical and humorous way, adding a lot of cliffhangers to his endings that makes you want to read more and more about his literary and linguistic creativity. His works are a good mixture of fantasy with realism, creating amazing settings and characters. If humor is your thing and want to expand your satirical reads, then this is the right start for you.

Starting by Book

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There is probably a classic book recommendation for any genre you might be interested in, so no matter what your literary preferences are, you´ll most likely have a classic example that comes along with them. We are sure that you’ve heard someone talk about these next books at least once, and for some of them you may already know their plot, so if you want to begin your classic journey with specific titles, then these are the perfect ones to add to your list.

– The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The great portrait of America in the 20s that tells the story of Jay Gatsby and his love story with Daisy Buchanan, a woman who he met years ago and is now married to another man that will do everything in his power to keep them apart.

– One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel García Marquez: the most important book on magic realism -a Latin American genre- that takes you through the story of the Buendía family and their search for solitude and love while fate slowly makes things fall off their own weight.

– Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a German medicine student, has created a monster out of body parts. It will literally hunt him for the rest of his days as revenge for the fact that he cannot blend in with humans and because Dr. Frankestein refuses to repeat his atrocious experiment to create him a partner.

– Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: you´ll go through the story of four sisters with different personalities that are trying to find their way through life and adulthood in their own way, proving that men and women should have the same opportunities and portraying the reality of that time´s society very well.

– Dracula by Bram Stoker: Jonathan Harker is an English lawyer who has been sent to Transylvania to arrange some business matters with the dreaded Count Dracula, something that will introduce him into a whole new supernatural world that will change his life forever