I assume the title speaks for itself. Allow me to clarify why.
You know those moments where you’re talking about a great book and someone says they haven’t read it yet? I could imagine if I went down the list of books I’ve never read to you, you would be doing the same. It’s one thing for it to be a newer book, like Twilight (I have read Twilight though, but it wouldn’t be like a huge shocker if someone said they hadn’t read it), but it’s another thing for the classics. You know, the pre-2000’s/pre-1990’s/pre-1980’s type books. The books written in the earlier 1900’s, or the 1800’s, or even earlier than that.
Let’s get specific.
Up until now, I have not read a single Jane Austen book. I am a huge, HUGE fan of the movies, especially Persuasion. I probably would have taken much longer to read one if not for my book blog. I haven’t read anything by either of the Bronte sisters, or Thomas Hardy, or Louisa May Alcott, or Mark Twain. I did read Romeo And Juliet on my own and A Midsummer’s Night Dream (that was a requirement for High School), but no other Shakespeare plays. The only classic I took the time to read was Cyrano de Bergerac, and that was because of Wishbone! (Side note: Wasn’t Wishbone awesome?) I started to read The Count Of Monte Cristo, but didn’t have the patience to read THAT MANY PAGES. I tried to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but probably only got through four at the most.
As far as more modern books go, I never finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird. I haven’t read The Catcher In The Rye, 1984, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes Of Wrath, Slaughterhouse-Five, Of Mice And Men, Rebecca, A Clockwork Orange, or The Bell Jar (I did buy this one though).
I feel like I am SOOO far behind a lot of other readers. It seems unnatural to not have read more of these classics and call myself a serious reader. Not that I’m saying you have to read a bunch of classics to BE a serious reader. I just feel out of place not being well read. Especially now that I’m getting serious about writing my own novels, I need to have the knowledge of these timeless stories to be able to diversify my work. I want to refer to them in more than just title and author.
Not only that, but as the title suggests, I want to get the joke when it’s made on TV or by another reader. Sometimes I get the gist of the joke, but not fully. Dan on Gossip Girl made a reference to Judy Blume’s Forever in season 3 that made me roll on the floor laughing because I knew what he was talking about. it made my day.
It’s not only books either for me. It’s movies too. I just recently saw Soylent Green for the first time, and I only did so because of hearing it was a dystopian society and that intrigued me. After seeing Disturbia and seeing a parody on The Simpsons, I finally saw Rear Window a few years back. I’ve never seen The Birds, One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest, My Fair Lady, Gone With The Wind, Some Like It Hot, or West Side Story.
It’s honestly pathetic. I blame my impatience and my moodiness. You know, when you’re looking through the movies at the rental place or library and you see one of those movies but don’t pick it up because you’re not in the mood for it or you know that nobody else in the family will watch it with you (last time I rented movies, I noticed Vertigo and The Birds, sent a text to my mom, she wasn't in the mood to watch either of them). That’s part of the reason why I decided to cancel getting Netflix, because I kept getting movies that only I would watch and I struggled to find something that my mom and brother would enjoy. The ironic thing is that I’ve found like five movies since cancelling that we all want to watch.
How about you? Did you get the chance to read a lot of the classics years ago? Or did you miss out like I did and are trying to read them now? I’d love to know if I’m the only one.