If you’re just joining us:
The Classics Club is a club created to inspire people to read and blog about classic books. There’s no time limit to join and you’re most welcome, as long as you’re willing to sign up to read and write on your blog about 50+ classic books in at most five years. The perk is that, not only will you have read 50+ incredible (or at the very least thought-provoking) works in five years, you’ll get to do it along with all of these people. Join us! We’re very friendly.
Click here to join us, if you’re ready!
The club basics (the short version):
- - choose 50+ classics
- - list them at your blog
- - choose a reading completion goal date up to five years in the future and note that date on your classics list of 50+ titles
- - e-mail the moderators of this blog (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your list link and information and it will be posted on the Members Page!
- - write about each title on your list as you finish reading it, and link it to your main list
- - when you’ve written about every single title, let us know!
Now, to be a little more specific…
At your own blog, list 50, 100, or 200 (or more, if you’re so inclined) classics that most interest/scare/excite you, alongside your goal date for finishing this list. You can either make a straight list of titles, or explain next to each title why you’ve chosen it. You could also explain a few of your chosen titles, but leave the others explanation-free. It’s up to you.
The goal? To read every classic on your list at your blog, and write about each one at your blog. Each time you write about a classic from your list, hyperlink the discussion post at the main classics list on your blog. You can also submit your post to be included in the weekly round-up of posts.
The outcome? Not only will you have read and conquered a big list of classics and discussed them on your blog, your reviews will also be linked on this main page in the weekly round-up posts and on our Reviews by Members page. This will allow the larger community to interact with your post and encourage others to try that classic as well!
Levels: The project is not going to be divided by levels, but when you make up your initial list, keep in mind that YOU set your own goal date (five years from the date you start being the latest date you should probably set, to keep the project manageable.) You can choose to read 50, 100, or 200 books (or more). This is YOUR dream list, so please don’t worry about following some kind of prescribed set of instructions as you choose your books. If you’re not sure if it counts, and it’s an old book (not published within the last twenty-five years*) and you want to read it, go for it.
*There have been questions about what constitutes a “classic.” As long as you feel it meets the guidelines for your list, include it! We are not here to judge!
*You can also look on our big Book List page for ideas for other classics to read (for this project, or for the future!)
When you compile and post your list of 50, 100, or 200+ classics to read within the next five years at your blog, make sure to e-mail the moderators of the blog so we can add you and your splendid list of books to the Member Page. Every time you write about a classic from your list, link it at your main list at your blog. Again, you can also submit your links to the moderators so we can post your review in our weekly round-ups AND on our Reviews by Members page!
Prizes: Your reward is the project itself, and the experience it will offer you. Just for fun though, when you make your lists, you might name a prize you’ll offer yourself, upon completion of the list, and perhaps at milestone points. Self-motivation is always the way to go!
What is a classic? For the purposes of your project list, it’s your choice, really. Modern classics, ancient classics, Eastern canon, Western canon, Persophone, Virago, African literature, children’s classics… You make your own goal, and you decide what is “a classic.”
Does the club exclude works outside England and America? No. The Classics Club is not intended as a statement on what counts as a classic, or an English-exclusive club. It’s an effort to encourage people to read and write about the classics. (As defined by each reader individually.) ALL classics are welcome!
Is this just another challenge? I don’t want to limit myself to a strict fifty titles, or plan ahead five years. There is so much to read. The idea is to create living lists. It’s assumed these lists will adapt to our exposure to literature. The point isn’t to challenge people to read by a strict list — but to create for ourselves a habit and a curiosity about literature. The idea is to grow together — to learn from one another and literature. It’s great if our lists reflect that growth throughout the event — changing and adapting as we become exposed to more literature, insight and feedback. So absolutely — switch up the titles on your list after you post it, at any time during the duration of your challenge.
Can I include short stories and novellas on my list? Of course! Just let everyone know in the comment when you join if your list is comprised of short stories, novellas, novels, or all three. If you want to combine short stories with novellas and novels on the same list, just separate them by the appropriate headings on the list at your blog: “short stories”, “novellas” and “novels.” Anthologies, non-fiction, essays and books of poetry also count, but make them classics (as defined above). It might be a good idea to count a few novellas as one book, or a selection of short stories as one, but use your best judgment! A short essay would be like a short story for the purposes of numbers. This is a very carefree event, so don’t worry about being perfect.
Are re-reads allowed? Yes! Your classics list should be YOUR dream list. If you want to fill up the whole thing with re-reads, sprinkle in just a few, or go completely for works you’ve never read, it’s up to you.
What if I want to read 75 books? Or 202? No problem at all. You set your own book count. We just ask that you start with at least 50 for your project to be read within the next five years.
Can I participate twice if I finish my list early? Yup! Just resubmit your new list to the moderators and we’ll get you linked up to tackle your new list!
How thorough do my posts on the books have to be? That’s up to you. The point behind this club is to promote the reading and exploration of the classics. How much you intend to discuss the book is up to you, though we encourage you to try to come up with three or four paragraphs at the very least, in your blog posts. If you feel uncomfortable/unqualified writing about the classics, don’t worry! Most of us are reading the classics as a form of self-education and chances are, we feel just as unqualified!
Can I combine my chosen book titles with other challenges? Yes, you can mix your list with other challenges — that’s no problem. In fact, check some out at our Future Events page.
Can I simply link to a classics list I’ve already finished reading for your blog? We’re going to go with no, because the purpose of this event is to encourage you to read more. So read another 50 to 100, eh? (But feel free to include a link to a list of the classics you’ve already read on your Classics Club list. That’s no problem at all.)
Can bloggers who are already working on their own classics projects join? Absolutely!! It isn’t “cheating” to join this event even if you’re already in the middle of a classics project of your own. The idea is to unite us so we can all find each other and motivate one another (as time permits.) So please, feel free to develop a list of 50, 100, or 200 (or more) works you’d like to read for this event, and join in. The point is to share our appreciation of the classics, so there’s no problem at all with linking up to what you would have read anyway.
Do I have to be a classics blogger to join? Nope. Just a blogger.
What if I don’t have a blog? The idea behind this project is to promote discussion of the classics among bloggers, to get them out there in the media and make them an integral part of today. While you are most encouraged to read along with some of us, if you don’t have a blog where you can list, post and link your reading thoughts, you probably can’t officially take part. However, you’re encouraged to check out the lists as people join, and if you find people who click with you, participate and join in over at their blog! We really encourage you to start a blog, though, and start reading and posting. It’s lots of fun! (Sites like Goodreads, Shelfari, and Library Thing are great for reviewing, discussing, list-making and interaction about books, but the purpose of this project is to encourage blogging about the classics, so while we encourage non-bloggers to join a reading site like the ones listed above, lists there will not be transferrable to this project.)
Is there a time limit for joining? Nope! Join us as you please.
Can I join with ten or twenty titles on my list instead of fifty? Please do not link up with the group unless you’re linking to a page with at least fifty classics on it. Sorry!! We’re excited so many people are joining, but to link up with ten or fifteen classics doesn’t count. There are other challenges available for folks who prefer to read a handful of classics rather than tackle a list of 50 or more. While we’re very, very happy you’re stirring to read the classics, the purpose of this event is to link together the bloggers who blog classics voraciously (50+ at least in five years).
Can I announce a readalong or mini-challenge somewhere for the rest of the group? We have a Future Events page just for this purpose! Please visit that page first if you are interested in events. You’ll see all our members’ events as planned for the next few months. If there isn’t already an event scheduled and you’d like to take on a readalong or something similar, contact the moderators with the necessary information! We’ll make an announcement post on the main page and link it in the Future Events!
Is there a place where I can seek or offer resources for building a classics list for this event? We have a separate page just to list out books that count towards this project (visit the Book List page to see)! It is a constant work in in progress, so if you know of a few titles (or a hundred) that could be added, comment on that page so we can add them!
Why isn’t my comment showing up? Why hasn’t anyone e-mailed me back? If you post a comment that goes to moderation, and a few days go by and you still haven’t seen it show up yet, don’t panic. The moderators are busy people, and chances are, no one has logged in to fix it. And since this blog is in its early stages, we’re still figuring out how to get it organized and run efficiently on our end. Just bear with us!
What if I don’t finish reading my list by my set goal date? Again, this is a living list. If you don’t feel like you’ll finish in time, feel free to change your goal date. This club is intended to inspire, not make you sweat. If you need to change your goal date, contact us and we’ll change it on the Members Page — easy as that! That’ll make it simple for members to see changes to your list. You can assume this is the plan for any list change you may need to make.