A classic will always be a classic

I recently picked up a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo at a local book sale on the second day where a bag of books cost $2. I figured, I’d never read it and it was one of those things that I *should* read in my lifetime.

IMG_20140304_105932161I mean a classic is called a classic for a reason, right?

I slipped it into my bag with the personal promise that if I hadn’t touched it by the next book sale, I would donate it back.

But then a funny thing happened. It was a cold New Hampshire night, I was sitting by the heater covered up in a wool blanket and I wanted to read something but didn’t want to get up (and risk losing all my heat.) So I looked around and the closest book happened to be that very same copy of The Count.

Why not? I opened to page one and started reading. A few hours later I was still reading.

“Griffin,” I called out to my son, “you are not going to believe this story. It’s got justice and injustice, deceit and naivety, good guys and bad guys, and a hero who shows incredible patience and grace under the most incredible conditions. It’s a story where good behavior is rewarded (finally) and bad behavior is, well dealt with. In short, it’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. I can’t put this book down!”

“I know,” Griffin replied to me when I was done gushing over the story,” We had to read it in high school. It’s one of my favorite stories.”

“You do know that classics are called classics for a reason, right?” He then asked me.

What I want to know is just when did my kid get to be so smart?

***

Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com)

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

21 thoughts on “A classic will always be a classic

  1. Yes my son is my guide where books are concerned. He recently said that he remembered his grandad extolling the virtues of Grapes of Wrath as a wonderful read. Grandad died long ago bless him but when my son spotted a copy of the book in a sale he bought and read it – like you he was blown away by how great it is!

  2. Pingback: Tips for Bloggers: “KEEP IT SIMPLE”

  3. Dumas, to me, as a child-was and is-like the grandfather to his grandson-in the Princess Bride. One of the greatest classics of all time to me. Consequently my copy is so ravaged, I am inspired by this to go in search of a “new” (old) one. Love.

  4. Just finished this 2 months ago. I wonder what took me so long to pick it up.. Now I am currently 1/3 of the way through Anna Karenina. Yes, there is something about cold, blustery weather that seems to be more conducive to reading long classics.

  5. I’m a bit of a compulsive and worked my way through all the classics when I was in my mid teens. They’re all worth a re-read,. Thing is although I’ve had many a good read I can’t name anything written recently that looks like it might turn into a classic.
    ps. of course your son is smart. My children are. It’s the way we raised them.

  6. I have yet to read this book, but it is on my list with a number of other classics I some how missed. I feel just like you did that there are a number of books that I -Should- read.

  7. I have to admit, I avoided the “classics” like the plague when I was young (with the exception of War & Peace, which I read just to say that I had). I figured they were dry, dusty books that only people from other times might enjoy. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that they are classics because they are GOOD, and because they speak to the human condition down through the ages. Having said that, I have a lot of catching up to do!

  8. Hi Wendy; A friend of mine on another blog wondered if writers were contributing to the dumbing-down of our society. Between twitter and computer games, it seems like we are being pushed to write Parts One, Two and Three in the first 10%, and Part Four for the entire last 9o%.

    I would hope that a publisher would still take a chance on a Classic. It might be fun to take one, do a third edit to replace the anachronisms and watch the rejection slips pile up. Silent

  9. Oh my goodness. I cannot explain my love for this book. It was a favorite since childhood (I was a very odd child). Dumas is one of my all time favorite authors. The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask are also must-reads, especially The Man in the Iron Mask. I’m so glad you liked it!! Love love love.

  10. I agree about the Count of Monte Cristo, it is a very good read, just like your posts. Yet it is interesting to consider how many of such classics are actually read an enjoyed, how many are compulsory read as part of a school or college assignment, and how many just sit on a bookshelf for reasons of appearance of unfulfilled good intentions?

    The roles and natures of such “classics” have always interested me, and I wonder what current books will become classics over time

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