Classic and Contemporary Books

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Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly series hosted by Rukky at Eternity Books and Danie at Literary Lion. The full list of December topics can be found here.

This week’s topic is about reading preferences when it comes to classic and contemporary books.

Do you prefer reading classics or contemporaries?

I prefer reading contemporary novels. Not only are they more interesting to me than most classic literature but they are also more relevant to me and my life, since they are after all, contemporary!

What differences do you notice between the two?

For me personally, classic literature has always been intimidating. I rarely read classics because without the guidance of an English professor, I simply have no desire to dissect a book to discover its meaning. I don’t read to analyze, I read to enjoy a compelling story.

I’m sure that there are classic works that are in fact compelling stories, but I haven’t found many and my TBR is too long to divert my attention away from it for a book that I “might” like.

Why do you think the “classics” have been designated classics and are studied in school?

It’s hard to say but I think there are a few reasons. Most English classes focus on classic literature to give students an understanding of the history of literature as a whole. I also think that most books that are chosen have a universal theme about human nature that most readers can relate to.

Both of those are certainly important reasons to select certain books for a curriculum. With that being said, there are so many contemporary novels that students can read that would be more relatable to them and teach the same life lessons.

Are there any newer books that remind you of classics?

There seems to be a trend right now in books that are spins of classic books. I have lost count of the number of “new takes” on Pride and Prejudice! Some, like Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev don’t even try to hide it and others have more unique titles. These kinds of books don’t appeal to me. I want to read something that’s original that the author came up with on their own.

From another perspective, books like Pride and Prejudice have huge fan bases and that’s a perfect market for someone looking to write a book that appeals to a wide audience. It reminds me of all the revivals of classic TV shows and movies that are popular right now. If the audience for that particular story or niche is already there, why try to come up with something original?

Do you prefer reading classic or contemporary books? Tell me in the comments!

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