I've been reading Brideshead Revisited, a book I've never read before, during my lunch hour at work when no one else is around. Last week one of the girls at work, asked what I was reading and then stated she 'didn't like readings the classics'. This seemed odd to me at the time, as I do and can't understand why other people don't, but the more I thought about it the odder it seemed. Saying you like or don't like reading 'the classics' is like saying you like or don't like reading books from the 1950s, or from the twentieth century. Are all books written within ten or even a hundred years of each other the same? Just because I enjoyed reading Wolf Hall, currently number 2 in the British best seller charts, does that also mean I enjoy Jodi Picoult's House Rules which is number 1?
This point was brought home to me even more forcefully when I started reading Cider with Rosie one evening last week. I have a feeling that we read it, or parts of it, at school and I didn't enjoy it. But working on the principle that reading a book at school tends to suck all the enjoyment out of it I thought I would give it another go. Nope, not the book for me. But it proves my point, two of 'the classics' (my copies of both even tell me they are classics), both even set around the same time, and published within a decade of each other, and one of them I am loving and the other I'm probably not going to be finishing any time soon!