Classics We All Wish Were Shorter

Classics We All Wish Were Shorter

I love a lot of classics. Anything Jane Austen has ever written? I’m there. Jane Eyre, Dante’s Inferno, The Aeneid… all of these are classics I’ve read and loved.

But honestly, I get why a lot of people hate classics. I get why they hate reading after reading classics.

They are loooooong. They are wordy. Here’s a list of some that I think could have… like hundreds of pages cut.

  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Okay, Les Mis… It’s a great story. Most people have seen the play or watched the movie… but the book? It’s like 1,400 pages. 1,400! And there’s like 400? 600? pages about these regiments… that I think add nothing to the book. Honestly if you ever decide to read this? *whispers* just skip the part about the army and get back to the good stuff.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë  

I LOVE Jane Eyre. And the first time you read it you should read the whole thing… but any other time? Skip the first 70 pages. Start when Jane leaves Lowood and finally gets to Thornfield. That’s where the action is!

  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I love Russian classics. They have depth and pathos (Anna Karenina is the best place to start for Russian classics!) that make them totally absorbing. I read War and Peace in college and I really enjoyed it. The parts I didn’t enjoy? Uhhh…. everything about the war? You can read those bits if you want to. But if you don’t? *whispers* you can skip them if you’re just enjoying the bits with Natasha…

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is another one I’ve always loved. But man, is it long. It’s like 600ish pages? I love this story because it kinda reminds me of life with my own sisters (I have four…). But if you wanna skip the parts with Amy because she’s obnoxious and super annoying? Skippppp.

  • Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Okay, I do consider LOTR a classic. My dad read them to us when we were little, I can quote every line in the movies… but man are they long. And descriptive. I have a particularly hard time with The Two Towers… sometimes it takes forever to get to the good stuff. So, if you’re not enjoying that fifteenth description of a fence with a tree nearby? Skip through till you get to some good battles.

  • The Odyssey by Homer

Want to skip every scene where Odysseus is crying and whining about how hard his life is? DO IT. Though, you won’t have much of the book left…

  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This is not long. So I recommend skipping the whole book and also anything else by Hemingway because I hate him and his writing.

Honestly, reading should be a joy. If you’re not enjoying a certain part in your book? You can skip it. If you’re not enjoying a book? You can just put it down. You don’t have to feel shame about it, whether it’s a classic or not.

Read, because it’s a joy.