Then and Now: Classic compared to Modern Books

Why I Don’t Enjoy Classic Books

I have reviewed a few books that have been written within the past twenty years roughly.  When reading these books, they have usually managed to transport me to where these books are set, I become not simply a reader but also a witness of what is unfolding before me, I feel – usually – excitement, joy, pain and the sorrow that the characters are having to go through in the course of the book.

Modern books – at least those I am drawn to read – always take me away from my own life, in my mind I essentially get to go on adventures through these books and it’s great!

This is probably why I don’t like classic books as much as I do modern books.

By classics I mean books written by the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens and even Bram Stoker; none of them grab me, I barely care about the characters and to me it’s rather stuffy and boring; although there are exciting moments within these books, it doesn’t last long enough to full catch my attention or make me feel like I am fully part of their world.

After thinking it over, coming to terms that I cannot be a classical book lover, I have figured out why I am not overly fond of reading those kinds of books.  Simply put, there is nothing in those pages that can take me away from my own life and into a place that I would like to visit.

Classic books; to me at least; are something similar to eavesdropping on your neighbours back in the day, getting gossip about people and just being stuck in a local county.  They seem to be written to give a little bit of excitement, a bit of a thrill through reading, but ultimately it remains steady, the author not wanting to rock the boat too much and wanting the readers to focus on the people and their lives in certain classes, areas, work conditions and the list goes on.

Modern books are all about rocking the boat.  We have writers who are happy to write several genres in one book, be it romance, thriller, horror, steampunk, dystopia and the list goes on.  There is so much to write about to make a book exciting, while still observing the human interactions and life in general.

Most classic books stick to the same motif, romance/family with a sprinkle of friendship.

I love books that take me away from my own humdrum life, to make me forget about the troubles I am having, to essentially have me focus on something more interesting and possibly fun; as well as to become invested in the story and character that I don’t want to put the book down.

Of course that is not to say that Classic books have no place any more, many people that I know love reading them, they hold a special place in many people’s hearts and bookshelves.

What I would like is for people to stop looking at me like I am a freak for not enjoying reading classic books.  They either assume that I haven’t read many classic books or that I haven’t read the books properly.

Disliking A Picture of Dorian Grey or A Tale of Two Cities shouldn’t leave people gasping in should and proclaiming that the person who read these books and didn’t like them clearly haven’t read them properly, because these are not only your favourite books, by they are classics!

Doesn’t matter, if people read them and find themselves not enjoying the book, that the book doesn’t do it for them, then they should have the right to say they don’t like them, and possibly, if given the chance, why they don’t like them.

All books should be viewed as important, all books should be able to take you away somewhere different, it shouldn’t matter if they are classics or not, if you are reading a book that you enjoy and find it takes you away to a world that you like, carry on reading that book! It doesn’t matter if it’s Jane Eyre, A Clockwork Orange or Harry Potter, if you enjoy reading it and you are invested in that book, carry on reading what you love.

Just don’t judge people who don’t enjoy those kinds of books.  All books are important and no one should feel ashamed of reading something that isn’t a classic, or finding that classic books aren’t an enjoyable read.


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