Why You Should Be Reading the Classics


When you hear the term “classic book,” what do you think of? A dusty, smelly, boring old novel? Something on your grandmother’s bookshelf?

The truth is, classic books are time-honored tales of bygone eras. They’re, all at once, educational, entertaining and magical. In fact, they’ve influenced some of the most popular modern books, including The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and The Maze Runner.

A new list from punchnels.com lists the 10 reasons that we should all be reading the classics. Here’s three of the best reasons:

1. You’ll increase your vocabulary. Whether you want to impress your in-laws, boost your SAT scores, or deliver more effective presentations at work, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with words that instantly reflect your intelligence. Reading the Greek and Latin Classics, in particular, will develop your personal word bank, since many English words have roots in these two languages. English has made a habit of widespread borrowing, but over 60% of English words are derived from Greek and Latin alone.

2. While you’re at it, you’ll also improve your social skills. A 2013 study showed that reading the classics, in contrast with commercial fiction and even non-fiction, leads to better social perception and emotional intelligence. Character-driven novels can even strengthen your personal ethics, if you’re in the market for that sort of thing. Just make sure you’re clear on the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys.

5. You can “reward” yourself with the film version when you’re finished reading. Almost every classic has been made (and remade, and remade) into a movie, from Gone With the Wind to On the Road to The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird. Some film versions of the classics earned excellent reviews in their own right, but you’ll be informed enough to say whether the book was better. It probably is. Still, it’s always intriguing to see these unfailingly rich and penetrating stories brought to life on the big screen.

Read all 10 reasons here.

Read some of the most famous books in world history for free at read.gov/books.

Also, check out BL‘s 100 books every guy should read.

7 thoughts on “Why You Should Be Reading the Classics

  1. dicky bubb

    ann of green gables? seriously? no way. hemmingway, all quiet on the western front, the oregon trail, moby dick, lord of the flies. these are boy books. NOT ann of green gables

  2. Pumukinbutter

    I Got All The Classics For Boys :The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,Sherlock Holmes,Moby Dick,The Time Machine,A Wrinkle In Time,Middle Earth ,Beowulf,King Arthur,War Of The Worlds And Dune
    And Don’t Forget I Just Finish The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy And All Of These Movies

  3. Future Eagle Scout

    Anne of Green Gables, The Wind in The Willows, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Peter Pan,Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskerville.

  4. Classica

    I love Anne of Green Gables, Call of the Wild, Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty and more. This summer I am going to read the unabridged Les Miserable. I’m excited!!!


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