They can be pretty intimidating, and not that long ago I was someone who had read a few, mainly kids classics, and that was about it. But something huge came into my life that changed my mind.
Well that sounds like it was some big life event or something, it wasn’t! I literally mean something huge, War and Peace!! This chunker had sat on my tbr since 2015/16 and I finally decided I was going to be reading the damn thing! The wonderful Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe agreed to buddy read it with me and since January 1st 2021 we’ve been slowly making our way through this tomb of a book.
And we’re loving it! Now of course this is because we’re enjoying the book, but something which is really amping up my enjoyment factor is reading this with Olivia, not only because she is lovely (because she is) but because I’m adoring our discussions. We discuss how the book makes us feel, as well as literary merits and what we think of the portrayal of the time and the historical aspects. And that might sound boring to some, but we love it! And it came naturally too. At first we were just talking about the book in less academic terms, but as we went further through the book this just naturally became the discussion we would have and it is a genuine pleasure to message her every day!
It’s because of this specifically, the daily analysis of a well known classic with a friend who is educated in the field, that has changed my thoughts on classics as a whole. I enjoy them so much more now! I read a lot more into them and intrinsically find myself understanding so much more than I used to, as well as reading through them a lot easier. In the past the writing style used to often be a struggle for me.
I cannot recommend highly enough buddy reading a classic with a friend. Not only is it so much fun to read with a friend, and not only will you get so much more out of the book itself, but slowing it down to one chapter a day means that there is less material to read from and more insights to be gained from a smaller amount of text. And it has changed how I read! And I couldn’t be more glad.