The Importance of Reading Classic Literature

I personally enjoy reading. It has always been something I have found pleasure in doing, with the exception of having to read rather dry texts throughout my university career, and I believe reading is an incredibly beneficial practice. It enhances both the mind and the imagination, and for some, it is a means to achieve relaxation and comfort in times of stress or anxiety.

I have read my fair share of books, however I am guilty of re-reading my favorites repeatedly rather than exploring new texts. While I personally do not believe there is anything necessarily wrong with re-reading texts, this habit does prevent individuals from delving into new and unfamiliar literature, and in doing so can hinder the possibility for new learning and perspectives.

For example, my mother has her own bookshelf which contains a lot of literary classics. I would look at her collection daily and recognize world renown texts, however I would refrain from actually picking one up and reading it. Recently, I decided I would read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I am about a quarter of the way through the book, and while I cannot state that it is my favourite book, I am choosing to read it because I believe it is a component of history and is a text that should be read by any individual who is able. I realize my opinion fails to be one that everyone will agree with, but it is my own, and I feel obligated to read this book because of its relevance to historical occurrences and it’s discussion of political and social issues.

Fantasy books are my favourite genre, but again, I think exposing myself to texts that address factual issues is of tremendous importance to my own education and perspectives. I will likely review To Kill a Mockingbird once I have finished it, and until then, I shall keep powering through.

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