best books to start reading habit

Timeless classics that will help you start your journey as a reader

If you are planning to start a reading habit, but don’t know where to begin, here is a list of classic books to start reading that have stood the test of time and hold immense value in our modern lives.

There is something magical about reading a book. And if it’s a classic, it’s even better. Once you pick it up, you can hardly put it down. You become so mesmerised with the characters and the plot that you feel like you have become a part of the story.

As a reader, you are left with an enriching experience, which creates a positive impact on your life. Classics contain moral messages that help can you become better individuals. They help enhance your social skills, give you insights into cultural references, and nurture your emotional intelligence. As these books have stood the test of time, they hold immense value in our modern lives. If you are planning to start a reading habit but don’t know where to begin, Soulveda has selected a list of the best books to read for beginners.

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift

Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is considered one of the best books to start reading. It ranked third in The Guardian list of ‘100 best novels’. It is a satire that has enchanted children and adults alike since it was first published in the 18th century. The plot follows the titular protagonist Lemuel Gulliver, who sails across the seas to visit remote regions of the world. The book is divided into four parts, and each of them shows Gulliver voyaging to fictional lands such as Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Glubbdubdrib, Land of the Houyhnhnms among others. The book will keep the readers on the edge of their seats with depictions of imaginary, fantasy lands and their inhabitants, especially the Liliputians—a fictional race of people who are less than six inches tall.

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island is considered one of the finest adventure classics of all time. Written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, the book was first published in 1883. It tells the fictional tale of a young boy Jim Hawkins and his quest for a buried treasure. The book is set in the days of yore when pirates and sailing ships used to capture the imagination of people. This classic inspired future adventure fantasy literature, especially pirate novels. Through its engaging narrative and a plot full of twists and thrills, the book delves into themes of courage, fortune and greed, which, despite the fiction fantasy element, have the potential to connect with readers of all ages.

The Time Machine, by HG Wells

If there’s one book that single-handedly established the concept of time travel, that is The Time Machine by English writer HG Wells. Published in 1895, the science fiction novella narrates the story of a time traveller who travels to the future using a time machine. The book shows him travel to the year 802,701 AD, a dystopian era where he encounters the Morlocks and the Eloi—two futuristic human species that are at odds with each other. Wells explores several themes such as evolution, the impact of science and technology on society, and his take on the fate of humanity. Many aspects of the book have been considered prophetic. Simon John James, Professor of Victorian fiction, Durham University, writes in The Conversation that Wells’ “writing can be seen to have predicted the aeroplane, the tank, space travel, the atomic bomb, satellite television and the worldwide web.”

Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne

Originally published in 1873, Around the World in 80 Days is a celebrated travel adventure novel that follows Phileas Fogg, a wealthy and eccentric Englishman, who learns that a new railroad in India has made it possible to travel across the world in a span of just 80 days. He makes a bet with fellow members at a club that he will complete that journey within that time or even less for a whopping wager of £20,000 (approximately Rs 20,44,826 today). He takes the journey with his valet Jean Passepartout and then ensues an enrapturing saga of epic proportions that sees the duo getting caught in misadventures and fighting numerous obstacles in the pursuit of their goal.

Charlotte’s Web, by EB White

American writer EB White’s classic children’s novel Charlotte’s Web is a heart-warming story that extols the virtues of friendship. White narrates the story of a little girl named Fern Arable and her bond with a pig named Wilbur, whom she saves from getting killed. It is a much-loved children’s classic, as it teaches the importance of friendship and compassion. Nevertheless, the book can also be read by beginners irrespective of your age group.

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri

This book by Swiss author Johanna Spyri is a must-read classic for both children and adults. Published in 1881, this book tells the tale of a girl named Heidi, who lives in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather. Her parents passed away when she was just six years old. The story details Heidi’s relationship with her grandfather, who is a recluse living in the mountains. He doesn’t have a good reputation and he is shunned by the people. But in reality, he is shown as a kind and caring man who does everything he can for Heidi, who, in turn, also loves him because of his compassionate attitude. Things take a turn when Heidi is sent to Frankfurt where she becomes the companion of Clara, a wheelchair-bound girl. Heidi is a heart-warming story, which makes you ponder on the importance of friendship, love and family.


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