Many have grown up on a healthy diet of literary classics that would keep us engrossed right from the start. From To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee, Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte to Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, these classics would take us through a unique literary experience, a journey that remains unmatched by today’s social media age of curt proses and snappy writing. Classic literature is an expression of beauty in the form of literary art, imaginative proses, and language that stands the test of time and transcends eras. Some literary classics are evergreen and continue to touch readers even today, enriching and inspiring them in numerous ways.
With each book we allow ourselves to embrace new perspectives, ideas, and cultures. In this age of fast-turners and short proses, how does investing our time in a timeless literary classic change us for the better?
Here are 5 reasons why you should read classic literature, and how it helps us to become deep thinkers with better perspectives.
Understanding history and culture
Many classics from the yesteryears, which got little or no success when they were published are considered invaluable today. These books offer a window through which we, as readers, can experience different cultures and their histories. One can always ask the question, “But we can do so by reading our history books too. Why do we need to read classics?” The simple reason is that these literary classics are not just a retelling of history. They allow us to have a more personal experience, where they not only show us another way to look at history but also offer us an insight into the different aspects of human character.
Enriching your vocabulary
It is common knowledge that reading as a habit helps you improve your vocabulary and your command over the language. But classics have an edge. Their expressions and their word bank is something that sets them apart. The writing style of classics is so enriching that it makes you pause and wonder about what you read.
Enhancing social skills
According to a study, reading classic literature helps you strengthen your social skills. It helps with your emotional intelligence and even gives you a sense of better social perception. Novels that have strong characters give you a sense of strong personal ethics and make you a better judge of character.
A deeper knowledge of cultural references
Classic literature is always based on different social settings from the past and helps us perceive a country’s history and social make. For instance, Wuthering Heights helps us understand the English culture, whereas Love Story by Erich Segal helps us get an insight into the American culture that was. Reading a classic offers you a glimpse into cultures and heritages that are long forgotten while giving you the opportunity to understand the significance of historical references and classical allusions.
A better outlook towards life
Beyond just better vocabulary and cultural exchange, one of the most prominent benefits of reading classic literature is the enriching experience it leaves you with. These literary masterpieces are known to give you a new perspective on life, love, and thoughts and ancient wisdom that still holds true.
Classics are a part of a human legacy and our history. They have stood the test of time with their wisdom, perspective, and expressions still being relevant today. But perhaps one of the greatest benefits you gain from reading classics is that it allows you to engage with the best works of the greatest minds.