Welcome to another year of The Classics Club.
The beginning of a new year is a great time to start fresh. Where are you in your Classics Club walk? How are you coming with your list? Have you gotten frustrated with your progress (or lack of progress)? Do you have books on your list that you wish you hadn’t included? Are you bogged down in a book you do not like? Did you choose too many daunting books?
I am here today to help you. I have two secrets to share with you:
You are in charge of your own Classics Club list. Modify it, if you want.
If you have too many long books on your list, change your list up, and add some shorter books. If you have books you are struggling to get through, cut them from your list and replace them with books that might be a better fit for you. Did you include nothing but one subgenre and now find yourself bored with it? Shake up your list, and throw in some new subgenres.
My second secret:
Nothing is cheating. Use all the helps out there to get you through a difficult book.
I read Moby-Dick last year. I never thought I could make it through that book. I knew nothing about killing whales or sailing on a huge boat, and I didn’t feel like I was particularly interested in learning about these things. But many, many people told me this was a great book, and I was determined to try to read it. I used many helps. I read children’s versions of Moby-Dick. I read books about Melville. I read articles about whaling. I listened to a podcast about Moby-Dick. I read chapter summaries. And I ended up finishing Moby-Dick. And I chose it as my favorite read of 2019.
The point of The Classics Club is to challenge yourself, not to kill your reading life.
I’m here to encourage you to get back on the horse if you have found yourself unexpectedly bucked off, perhaps even contemplating selling the horse at auction!
If you are doing well with your list, please feel free to share titles and techniques with others of us who might be struggling.