For those of you who have not heard of this incredible literary tool, now is the time! My husband, who is very proud of his complete 72-book-set, has opened my eyes to a busy woman’s solution to becoming more informed of classic books’ story lines.
Like many of you, one of the many reasons I don’t read more is because I don’t
have make enough time. Another reason is that these sometimes humungous books they call the “classics” are somewhat intimidating and scream “COMMITMENT!”
I was talking to a friend the other day, and she was reading a book about how you don’t have to necessarily commit to finish every book that you pick up and start reading. There is no law against deciding that you don’t want to finish a book. Who would have thought? You can decide whether or not the book is worth finishing. It kind of goes against the idealistic view of “finishing what you start,” and I am not dogging on the merit of that statement! I just choose to look at this as granting yourself with more agency over your time. That way, you can look at a book and not be afraid of what you might be sacrificing by picking it up. You might be more inclined to read more! (Other ideas on how to make reading more efficient are mentioned in another friend’s blog, The Story Girl. You should check it out!)
Another solution instead of simply putting a book down forever is the Pocket Classic solution. These are short, 50 page little comic books that tell the story line of major books (which are often asked for on summer reading lists for high schoolers) in a fun, easy to read way. They can literally fit in your pocket (if you squish them a little…) You can skim through one of these in like 45 minutes, decide if you like it or not, and invest in reading the thorough version later if you want! If nothing else, you won’t feel like an idiot at the next dinner party when literary people are discussing esoteric book language. You’ll most likely be able to at least keep up. Spark notes were always a godsend, but these are so much more cute and entertaining! Not to mention, they’re great for kids!
I don’t think these books are in print any more, but we were able to find a lot of them on Craigslist and eBay. Enjoy!