Friday, January 18, 2013

The Classics

Do you buy books or do you go to the library? I love to do both. Going to the library allows me to get a big stack of books and look through them all at home, where I can decide which ones I'd like to read. It's fun to check out newly published books at the library, or lighter reading that I might take on vacation with me.

But when it comes to classics, I almost always buy them. I love books and I love having them in my home. I envision having floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves someday, the way my parents did in our living room growing up. They were organized by genre and theme and the bookshelf containing classics was my favorite. Looking through that shelf as a teenager was what led me to read Grapes of Wrath; Pride and Prejudice; Jane Eyre; Willa Cather's Shadow on the Rocks; Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone. I was introduced to the classics as a result of those bookshelves much more than as a result of my high school English classes.

(I happened to find this picture of my parents' shelves in my photo collection. My brother took this photo of me modeling one of the dining room chairs my parents gave us as a wedding gift (aren't they beautiful?!). The "classics" bookshelf is right behind me.)

A few days ago, I was at Barnes and Noble looking for the Wilkie Collins book pictured above, on recommendation from my mom (who just read one of his more obscure books and said I needed to read The Woman in White before reading Armadale) and was very happy to notice the "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" sale on all Barnes and Noble Classics. This gave me an excuse to find two more books! I really like these editions, too, because they are inexpensive and often contain helpful footnotes and interesting introductions by an expert. So I bought The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and a collection of Selected Stories by O. Henry (can you tell from these choices that I was an American Studies major in college?). There are so many great, timeless books out there and I love building my own collection of them to have and to read. I'm beginning with The Woman in White which is so far really captivating.

I believe the Barnes and Noble sale is still going on. What three classics would (or will) you choose?

Happy reading!


  1. Oh my - Edith Wharton is just beautiful writing. I think you will love it. “The Buccaneers” was my fave of hers :)

  2. I love reading the classics - even those I read in school! you discover new nuances as an adult that you missed earlier, I think.


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