16. Read a Classic by Jane Austen

I've never given them much of a chance. In my mind books by Jane Austen seemed frivolous and dull and overly feminine, completely not my style. But, as has been the case for a lot of things I had completely written off before actually trying it -- it truly wasn't that bad.

I don't know exactly what made me add reading a classic by her to my 25 Before 26 list. Perhaps it was because several people who I greatly admire recently had been talking about her work, or maybe it was because I knew it would be a challenge for me, something that I needed to overcome. I love reading, but I really haven't delved into many classics, so why not start?

I picked up Pride and Prejudice, a large print, well worn copy, from my library to take along on a weekend trip we were taking to the mountains. My husband's family owns a cabin in rural Pennsylvania. Every year, right after Thanksgiving, we make the trip down there for the opening week of buck season. While Herm and the rest of the guys spend most of their time out in the woods, the ladies and kids stay back at the cabin. Carson and Brooklyn were both very entertained by their cousins, and I got to spend hours curled up near the wood stove, attempting to follow along to a book that was written in Old English, while lots of noise and chaos and conversations were happening around me. 

I didn't hate the book but neither did I love it. 

I've seen snippets of the movie, so I felt like I knew the general story line. And it was sort of what I figured it would be -- prim and proper and a bit stuffy. But there was something about the story, even though it was written in Old English, which is rather difficult to understand, that made me want to keep on going, to know what else would happen. And, before the week was up, I had completely finished the novel.

I might borrow the movie now, to see if that would make me appreciate the book a bit more. 

I'm glad I did read it, but at this point, I don't think I'll be laboring over the rest of Austen's work.

To give you an idea what old English is like, watch this version of a classic children's story.

What about you: Do you enjoy a good classic? What's your favorite title?


  1. I love her books!! They do have some that are either condensed or put in more modern English that are easier to read.

    1. I was wondering if there were other versions that weren't in old English... Maybe I need to get one of those and give it another change. I think the old English was my main hang up with the book.
      Thanks Ariel!

  2. Oh wow! I didn't even know there was a version of Pride and Predudice written in old English! Yikes. That would change things. Did it seem witty to you? My favorite thing about it is not so much the story line but the witty conversations.

    1. Okay, this means I need to reread it in a version that I can better understand. :) It might have been witty, but I think I missed that because I was too focused on trying to figure out what the characters were saying to one another. I basically was translating my way through it...

  3. Have you seen the movie yet? I love it for the reasons Rebecca said..so many clever conversations and interesting relationships. :)