Books are a constant in my life. They are source of knowledge that can serve to teach generations for centuries to come. While some books seem to be a very entertaining past time for a specific timeframe, other books make it into the realm of timelessness, becoming classics forever.
I’ve always felt that all avid readers should invest into creating their own library. It’s okay to purchase books and resell them when you’re done reading them, but there are some classic books that should make it into a permanent slot in your library. Here’s my list:
1. Dracula Unabridged by Bram Stoker
This book remains at the top of my list as one of my favorites. It’s a book thats been with me almost my entire life and was written by Bram Stoker, who changed the idea of reading for an entire generation, and brought imaginary fear into the hearts of the people of England. Creating an unforgettable character, Dracula has been remade, remembered, and heralded for decades.
Centered in England, this book takes you through the lives and diaries of four young and in love characters,
- Jonathan Harker
- Mina Murray
- Lucy Westenra
- Dr. John Seward
Through their stories the reader is engulfed by a world of obsession, determination, love and fear, as they attempt to take their lives back from a supernatural monster.
2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
As classic as classic gets, the complete works of William Shakespeare should be a staple in every library. His plays are timeless and show the sheer passion a writer can evoke when pouring out their heart onto a page. Shakespeare’s plays, while lacking in large, complex words, still manages to create complex feelings.
He seems the figure who’d only publish a finished copy if it was completely and totally written to the epitome of the literary version of a true feeling. In other words, if you could put an extreme feeling into words, which is often never, you’ll get something from out of the pages of his plays.
From King Henry VIII to Romeo and Juliet, his plays have brought to life stories that even today, continue to transpire within humankind.
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald created a character that encompasses everything we want to be, inclusive of the demons we carry with us that often are the driving force behind the determined actions we take to achieve what we want, leave behind what we don’t, and the delusions we create to make ourselves believe its all okay.
J. Gatsby is a man who owns its all and shares it all because there’s only one thing in this world thats worth more than everything he has combined, a woman. Set in the roaring twenties when women dared to cut their hair and shed their layers of clothes, this book gives readers an inside look at a time when Americans were drowning in money that was available for the taking and shaping the “standards” of the future.
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
How far would you go to love who you love? Emily Bronte’s story takes us through a story of the depths an orphan can be plunged into when there is no one to protect them or let them know of the riches their parents may have left them. It also brings to life the love that can grow and be shared by two children who grow up together, offering a kind soul to distract each other from the abuses of life and the lengths a tortured orphan would go through to keep that love alive.
Heathcliff and Catherine’s love story is poisonous, unforgettable, and pure all at the same time. Set on the eerie moors of England, Bronte makes the setting cloudy and misty, creating a private viewing experience for the reader. This book becomes an intimate experience between the characters and the reader.
5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
There isn’t much i can say about this book without offering spoilers, but its a classic portrayal of the inferiority a woman can feel in the presence of a man who has it all and shows interest and one point and indifference the next.
Jane arrives at Thornfield to play the role of governess to a child in the care of Mr. Rochester, the mysterious master of the home. The novel spans the lifetime of Jane, from her younger years as an orphan to her experiences and love affections at Thornfield.
These are my top 5 classic books and are based on my personal interests. Decide on your favorite authors, your lifestyle, your educational discipline and interests and you’ll soon come up with a grand library; from there you’ll be able to pick out those classic readings that may interest you. Not every classic book or classic author is for everyone. So dig, explore and read.
© C. J. Leger January 30, 2014