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Classic Literature: Why Bother?

September 5, 2017

The classics have it all: adventure, romance, struggle, heartbreak, redemption, sacrifice, joy, grief, mystery . . . and even aliens, time travel, magic, and ghosts! Yet, with the many options available to modern readers, why should anyone take the time to read dusty words written centuries ago? Not only did these books inspire future generations of writers, but they also helped form the foundation of modern art, entertainment, philosophy, and politics.


By reading the classics, you’ll be able to perform these astounding feats:

1. Nail the “City Characters” category on Jeopardy! by giving responses to answers such as “The master of Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre.” (Question: “Who was Mr. Rochester?”)

2. Discuss with authority the merits of the various adaptations of classic works by authors such as Jane Austen and Arthur Conan Doyle, including films, television shows, stage productions, and modern novels. How do they stand up to the originals?

3. Attend your next book club prepared for the debate on which Shakespearean creations served as the basis for the protagonists in the latest New York Times best-seller.

4. Explain to friends that the words of philosophers and poets such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau are still relevant in today’s society—and quote them to make your case!

5. Drift off into a timeless world rich with imagination as you curl up in a comfortable chair, open the pages, and leave the buzz of daily life behind.

Canterbury Classics offers a deep lineup of fiction and nonfiction works by authors of all genres: mystery, adventure, romance, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, memoir, philosophy, and history. Readers on the go will appreciate the wide selection of Word Cloud Classics with their portable format, evocative covers, and eye-catching designs. For those who want a more complete reading experience, the larger Leather-bound Classics feature multiple works in a single volume, along with scholarly introductions that discuss the work in historical and social context.