Sunday, May 4, 2014

Confessions #3: Never Enough Classics

Confessions of an Insomniac Book Devourer:

#3. Never Enough Classics!

On a side note: 
May the Fourth Be With You! Happy Star Wars Day!

Onto my confession:
My confession this week is that I haven't read as many "classics" as I would like. How could that be, when I critique them frequently at this blog? It is a dilemma that has its roots in my school days.

Have I told you lately that I have an unusual education history? Well, I must confess: up until eighth grade, I was a Catholic school girl, complete with uniform. For the next half, my parents decided to dump me into public school (yes, you can indeed hear bitterness in writing), which backfired majorly, concluding in me "dropping out" after my first semester. Why drop out? I had some underlying medical issues that still affect me to this day. The said sickness reared its ugly head when I was in eighth grade, but with help from sympathetic faculty, I was able to pass. The public school system here in the States has its (few) good points, but tolerance for medical issues? Nope. Zip. Zero.

The result of "dropping out" other than being viewed unfairly as inferior by a vast majority of the population was a weird "home school" situation, which was basically me typing info into an online "home-schooling" site, which bored my creative side into a deep depression. Also, instead of reading Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet, or the ever popular The Great Gatsby, I ended up reading whatever the hell I wanted.

Which led me to places I'd rather remove from my memory. Twilight. Eragon. Harry PotterNight WorldPirates! Insert Name of Mindless YA Fiction Here. I still love some of those books (Harry Potter, Pirates!) but I still shudder from the recollections of reading some (specifically #1-2, 4, which I didn't like that much to begin with). I did read some classics (The Old Man and the Sea, Animal Farm, Madame Bovary, Quo Vadis, anything by Oscar Wilde or Edgar Allan Poe), but I regret to say I still haven't touched any of what my classmates read.

I empathize with people who were force-fed those classics, and therefore hated the classics, but with my unfocused education, I also slightly envy them. I never got to chat with my peers about specific literature, as I often read classics that were obscure, or not on their curriculum, and so I view them through a hazy lens of solely my own opinion. This is a good thing in some ways, as I am spectacularly unbiased and unshaped by both popular and the teacher's view of the book, but I also probably never picked up on certain themes or ideas that were revealed.

I know I read more classics than your average high-schooler during my time as "home-schooler", but still, I feel the loss. And so, to compensate, I binge buy any book that is classic, thus adding to my boatload of classics. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. The Scarlet Letter. For Whom The Bell Tolls. 1984. The Invisible Man. Insert Must Read Classic Here. I've collected quite a bundle, if my "pile" is anything to judge it with.

And slowly, so as not to spook my poor brain, I plan to digest them. Then, I will critique them, so like-minded individuals might know what to read and what not to. And when I run out of quintessential books to read at the grand age of 64, I will consider myself well-versed in all things classic, and catch up on the latest reads of 2056.

I will read myself into my own take on "happily ever after".


  1. This is a fun story - especially because of the way you told it (I don't mean the sickness issue in itself was fun, of course). On a side note, homeschooling didn't affect your style at all - you have a unique way of expressing your thoughts :). Well, now that I think of it, maybe homeschooling is one of the reasons why you developed such a unique style!

    1. Yes, Twilight. Most American girls will not 'fess up to reading it, but really? It's just a book. I don't feel like it's a bad thing to read whatever you like, and at that time, that's what I liked. Of course, now I know there are plenty of much better books out there, but Twilight still has a place in my library, as a memory of my high school days.
      Thanks for commenting!


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