I am an avid reader. It is one of the best ways to pass the time while traveling. Between all the airports, trains and planes, distractions are a necessity. My tastes run the gamut, from romance to science fiction to entrepreneurial to fantasy. It doesn’t matter much as long as it’s entertaining, educational or inspirational. With that said, the one genre that seems to always be last on the reading list is classic novels.
This probably due to the fact that so many were mandatory reading way back in high school, which turns enjoyable reading into homework.
Adding “Read a Classic” to my bucket list was purely to test the level of boredom inducement.
I scoured Amazon.com to find the perfect classic for my Kindle, something that wouldn’t be a total snooze fest. My first choice wasn’t it. I started with downloading a free copy of Little Women, which ended on page 73. I seriously could not read past that page, any attempt led to snoring. An endeavor to bargain with myself was made, “just commit to reading a mere 5 pages a day”.
Absolutely, couldn’t do it.
It was time to move on. I know when to cut my losses. On recommendation from a friend, shot number two would be Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen.
It is a story of a young woman looking for love, honesty and independence in England. A tale that I could actually follow. Though, it still took me three months to finish. Why? Despite the story being engaging, a version of most modern day romance movies, everything else was different: the sentence structure, the vocabulary and the nuances of an era. It took concentration, something that I don’t have excess of most of the time.
Lucky for you, many of the classics are free for Kindle. So, you can give a few different ones trial runs.
12 Free Classic Novels to Read
A well-known Christmas tale where Charles Dickens tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was a wealthy man with a very cold heart who was paid a visit by the spirits on Christmas Eve and faced to make a choice about changing.
An adventure novel where the main character, White Fang, is a ferocious half dog and half wolf. The story tells of the experiences of this magnificent animal while living in the wilderness and finding companionship with man.
From summertime picnics to wanders in the fields to sitting fireside on winter nights this story follows animal pals Ray, Mole, Toad and Badger. The tale follows these friendships in the natural world.
The adventures of d’Artagnan who travels to Paris to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He then embarks on legendary ventures with his friends who make up the books title: Porthos, Athos and Aramis.
A young English solicitor travels to Count Dracula’s castle for a business visit and encounters a series of unfortunate incidents. The Count has set his sights on the young man and his friends, but with a legendary vampire hunter by his side they embark on a nightmarish adventure.
This classic novel chronicles the escapades of a young man and his best friend, Huckleberry Finn. Tom Sawyer’s pranks and mischief takes a dramatic turn when he witnesses a murder.
A story that follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, through issues of manners, morality, status and marriage. Living in the English countryside and of no great means, her father must marry off his five exuberant daughters
In 1895, there is an invasion of Earth by aliens from Mars. Using chemical weapons, lasers and superior technology, they destroy everything in their path.
Anne Elliot fell in love with a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but with the disapproval of her family and the persuasion of a friend she breaks off the engagement. Years later, Anne reencounters Frederick as he is courting another woman.
A man ashamed by his appearance and feared by all is obsessed with the lovely Christine Daae. Who will win her heart? The handsome, childhood sweetheart or the masked man.
Basil Hallward, a well-known artist, meets Dorian Gray in the home of his aunt. The artist is infatuated by Dorian’s beauty and paints several portraits of him. Dorian meets aristocrat Lord Henry who believes the only thing in life worth pursuing is beauty and pleasure. The youth then sells his soul so he can remain the same appearance as the portrait will age and fade.
One of the most well known of the classic novels, it tells the story of a London lawyer who is intrigued by the strange occurrences between his good friend, Dr Jekyll, and the evil Mr Hyde.