I grew up reading classics, as that was pretty much all my parents had on their bookshelves. I have no problems reading the language of the 1800’s but for whatever reason, it has taken me at least three attempts to read a Charles Dickens novel. I first tried A Tale of Two Cities, when I was 16. I think I got to the end of the first chapter and never picked it up again, except to put it back on the shelf. Then I tried Bleak House – TWICE – in my 20’s but I know how the story ends (thanks BBC) and I couldn’t see myself slogging through that paperweight and not getting an ending that would make me happy (I strategically worded that so Bleak House wasn’t spoiled for you too). Finally I picked up Great Expectations. Again, thanks to BBC, I’m familiar with the story but it’s less depressing than Bleak House, so I went for it and this time it stuck. I’m over halfway through it and I know I’ll be finished in time for Christmas (when new books start rolling in!).
“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”
– Charles Dickens, Great Expectations