Mojza Blog

How to Get Into Classic Literature?

by Miraal Omer | 12 Nov 2023

You look at that one girl in your class who always carries classic novels with her and wonder why she is always so enthralled with them. Then you think to yourself, “I will never be smart enough to read a classic novel” or “They are boring to read anyways”. Hold that thought! Many people are under the impression that you have to be some sort of a genius to be able to read classic novels, but that is not the case. 

Authors of classic literature wrote novels with language that was common for the people at that time, and they explored universal and timeless themes. Moreover, you shouldn’t have any reason to not give classic literature a chance, being under the pretense that they are “boring” as classic literature has delightful language, imaginative themes, fascinating characters, and culturally rich settings. Nevertheless, you still might think that reading classics is a daunting and tedious task, so here are some tips to help you.

Make a Personalized List

Surf the web and go through the synopses or reviews of different classic books online to find books that intrigue you. Read the titles, learn about the authors, and pick a book. For now, don’t think too much about whether you will actually like them. Simply choose a few so that you can set the goal of reading them. To get started you can go through this list of 20 Classics You Should Read At Least Once In Your Life | URBAN LIST GLOBAL

Start with Shorter Books

For a beginner, I would not recommend books that are very lengthy. I don’t want to scare you off by making you read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1,468 pages). Instead, you should start with shorter and easier books, which won’t seem like a huge undertaking. This will make you familiar with the writing style of the books without demotivating you immediately. Here are a few classics you could start with:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Start with Middle-Grade Classics

If the books given above seem like a challenge to you, maybe you should consider middle-grade classics first. These books have an easier writing style whilst maintaining meaningful themes. Here are some books that may interest you:

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Start With Genres That You Like

Everyone has their favorite genres. Just because someone likes to read philosophical fiction, does not mean you will too. Remember it’s not one shoe fits all. Classic literature comes in a variety of genres: 


  1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  2. The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier


  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emile Brontë
  3. A Room With a View by E.M. Forster 


not all classical novels are "boring"

If you think all classic novels are about social disparity, injustice or revolution, you are wrong. Most people avoid reading classic literature because they do not like to read about dark and heavy topics. What if I tell you that there are many classic novels or plays that are known for their witticism and comedic ingenuity? Here are such pieces  that you could read to unwind:

  1. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
  2. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  3. The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

use study resources

When you first start reading classics, you may feel  a little lost. You might not understand the language or the  themes that the author is conveying. Classics often have some historical background that you might not be familiar with, and the writing style is difficult to understand if you are just starting out. So you might find it helpful to use study guides from the following websites:

  1. Sparknotes
  2. Cliffs Notes
  3. Shmoop

You will feel empowered by using different sources to grasp the concept of the novel you are reading and will be encouraged to read on and expand the spectrum of your knowledge.

find a reading partner

Having someone to read with makes the process more enjoyable. It will also instill accountability in you as you will have to keep up with the classic you are reading in order to discuss with your partner. You can plan a weekly meeting with your friend to talk about the book you are reading, and together, you both can navigate the plot of the novel.

read with an open mind

You may not like every classic or you may not fully comprehend every classic, but that should not stop you from exploring the realm of classic literature. Using your time to read more classic literature is a worthwhile investment and will enhance your ability to gain a deep understanding of the world. You will become more socially intelligent and will be able to nurture intellectual opinions about different aspects of society. But if you feel like classics are not working for  you, it is alright to switch back to the types of books you are comfortable reading. If you are just starting out your reading journey, check out our blog on “How to Build a Reading Habit” for more tips.

All in all, you should at least give classics one chance. They are a part of our history and their timelessness makes their relevance prevail. You will be able to divulge into worlds that you wouldn’t have otherwise known and will be able to indulge in intelligent conversations that will expand your horizons. So on any other halcyon autumn day, grab a cup of coffee with your classic novel, and commence this entrancing journey!


Author: Miraal Omer
Proofreader: Syed Muhammad Shaheer Ali


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Published: 12 November 2023
Last Updated: 12 November 2023
Written by Miraal Omer