We all have those things we want to do some day – travel to Africa, volunteer at an orphanage, drive a race car. I hate to use that overused phrase “bucket list,” but it does actually sum up the kinds of things I am talking about. Once kids enter your life, these things seem even more impossible. Thanks to a little moral support, I am working on a very modest goal I’ve had for a long time: to read the classics.
I am an avid reader, and I truly will read anything. But, I also have had trouble making time to read the truly great literature. Bean, my mother-in-law, makes me look like an amateur in the bookworm department. But, she, too, always said that she needed to read the classics “someday.”
Early last year, we decided it was time to finally do it. We decided to form our own book club with the sole purpose of finally read the classics. We started with a list of novels we found online the Top Fiction Books of All Time and jumped off from there. Bean’s all-time favorite topped the list (The Great Gatsby), and I had never read it, so we started with this one. Then, every 3 months or so, we pick another one that sounds interesting. We don’t stick entirely to the list, but it is a really great resource. Our other selections so far: Invisible Man, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Black Beauty, Emma, Lord of the Flies, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Doctor Zhivago is up next. We have made one omission from the list, too. We both have agreed to never read The Scarlet Letter. I started it once, and it was the most awful nine pages I have ever read. Bean started it once, too, and thought it was hard to get in to.
Bean and I live over 2,000 miles apart. So we email or chat on the phone about the books, and it’s very casual. But, we read them because we know someone else is reading them, too. She puts up with my reading at a snail’s pace – after all, I have Bugster and The Big Cheese running around all the time. The key is that we are keeping each other motivated and accomplishing our goals at the same time.