Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Paperback's Pondering's: "I Only Read the Classics"



You know that one person in your class that just gets on your nerves so much that as soon as they start talking you cringe? For me, it's this girl in my English class. She is just incredibly pretentious and such a know-it-all and she does this thing where she'll make snide remarks to you but mask it as a compliment. I do not like her. But just recently a group of us were chatting about the latest YA books we have read, to which she replied, "Oh you guys are into YA? I only read the classics." That's when I realised that that is one of the most annoying things that somebody could say.

I don't understand why people limit themselves to the classics. I know that a lot find mainstream fiction and YA fiction unintelligible, unoriginal, and cheesy, but I swear I feel more connected to most YA books than any classic novel I have ever read!! Why do you think you are a better reader if you only read the classics?!

I personally have never really gotten into the classics. I find them hard to understand, and while I appreciate the philosophy and meaning behind a lot of them, they just don't work for me. So since I am appreciative and respectful of classics, why can't classics lovers be respectful of YA?

YA has changed drastically over the years. Now is the time where it is the most socially-aware, the most daring, the most unique. I'm not one to tell others what to read, but I feel as if you are seriously missing out if you aren't reading YA! There is a whole world of new books out there just waiting for your approval and you're stuck inside the mind of an 18th century old white dude! I just don't get it!!

Basically, I'm tired of classics lovers thinking that they're better than us. I'm tried of YA not being considered as "literature" because honestly, 500 years from now, the books we are reading now will be seen as the classics. So, might as well get an appreciation for them today while you still can.

Emily @ Paperback Princess

12 comments:

  1. Charles Dickens and Shakespeare were the bestseller-types of their day.

    Saying you only read the classics is a self-defeating form of snobbery, and as far as I'm concerned you can't be well-read if you limit yourself like that. I've read trashy romance novels that are (imho) much, much, better than Hard Times by Charles Dickens (yes, that book in particular - I had to study it at A-level. It's awful.)

    Also, we had several different people who made me cringe every time they opened their mouths in my school - one of them kept accusing one of the only decent teachers we had of not helping us and not teaching us properly, even though I had *several* photocopies of the notes she was accusing the teacher of not giving us. *sighs*

    I'm gonna be honest, we had little decent teaching as it was - could've done with her not stalling it! Lol.

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    1. Ha, that’s true! Shakespeare is probably the most popular and mainstream you can get! I really do not like people who think they a higher than everyone else.

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  2. Lol, I was once THAT girl ;) I wasn't pretentious about it, but I just genuinely enjoyed classics more than any other book and didn't see the fuss about YA. I still love classics (The Picture of Dorian Gray, War and Peace, Wuthering Heights...) but I'm so glad I gave YA a chance!

    Great post :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. There’s nothing wrong with that :) And I’m sure you were nothing like this girl! She’s just on another level, you know?

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  3. Ugh, I hate when people judge others based on what they read! There are certain classics that I love, but like you said, a lot of them can be difficult to read, and if you limit yourself to only the classics, you're missing out on so much - not even just YA, there are so many other genres out there! Great post, I wish we could all just be happy that people are reading in general, regardless of the genre!

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    1. Well said! Thanks for stopping by, Angela :)

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  4. Ugh, that girl truly sounds awful. I mean, some of my favorite books are classics, and I do think it is important to get to know some of the classics of one's own country or culture, be that in school, or on one's own... But a classic will rarely be as relevant as contemporary fiction.

    As for YA, yes, there are some cheesy, unoriginal YA books - some I love, some I hate - but, let's be honest, the same can be said about classics. MANY classics are debated by literary critics, and are questioned if they even should be defined as classics. Also - right now, YA is the most diverse, most relevant genre BY FAR, while Adult books are stumbling after YA waaay farther behind.

    Let's look at THUG - such a clever, important and relevant book that does not have its like in adult contemporary fiction - much less in classical fiction, ffs - meanwhile there are more and more books, just to mention on example, centering black people being released in the YA age-group. NOT ENOUGH STILL! But there is certainly an improvement which, obviously, not going to happen in classics lol. Great post, Emily!

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

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    1. Brilliant comment, Veronika! I think it goes both ways, there are both great and bad YA books, and great and bad classic books, which is why it’s important to not limit yourself to one! YA has changed so much and this stereotype of it being too simple and unoriginal is so false!!

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  5. I know these types! I had one woman tell me that the books I read are not real "literature". I just roll my eyes. I read everything and refuse to pigeonhole myself into one category. And I'm proud to a YA reader too (even though I'm old).
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

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    1. Definitely! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with YA no matter what your age, there’s something for everyone :)

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  6. I'm so sorry that girl in your class was like that :( It's interesting because I now have moved on completely to classics and adult literature, but I still think YA is one of the most experimental, bold, important genres, and I'm forever grateful to it for creating my love for books. For me, (and this may be a generalization too) adult & classic literature truly have great craft. The writing is art at its finest, and I found it more difficult to find that kind of expertise I wanted in YA. Of course, I still have my YA gods: David Arnold, Markus Zusak. I wish YA would adopt the skill of other genres, and other genres would adopt the boldness and relevance of YA. We'd have some great books :) Thanks for this post!

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    1. You bring up some great points here! I definitely think that both YA and classics could learn something from one another. Now it’s kinda hard for classics to change its ways now lol, but at least we can look at classics with a 21st century interpretation, which is pretty cool :)

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