#EngTips: How to Read Classics

Hi, fellas! Anyone here had seen Pride and Prejudice (2005) starring Keira Knightley?

How about the book version? Has anyone ever tried to read it … In English?

If you have not, then I highly recommend you to read it and many other Classics.

“But Classics are often difficult!” – Yes, even many English native speakers thought so.

For today’s #EngTips session, we are going to talk about how to read Classics for beginners!

First of all, why do we read Classics? Can’t we just stick to watching the movie version?

Not only that reading Classics help expand your horizon and historical knowledge, it is also a great way to enrich your vocabularies.

You can understand context better as you would know how people of that time use English.

So how to begin? First step: Get the right book. Classics are sold in two versions: Simplified/Retold and Complete & Unabridged.

As the name suggests, Simplified/Retold speaks in a more modern language style. if it is your very first time reading Classics, go for this one.

But if you feel like stepping up your game, then go for Complete & Unabridged version. It is told just how it was back then.

You can check the back of the cover to know which one it is, just like this copy of Treasure Island I have back home: ow.ly/i/6hTh6

Next, do a small research. When did the story happen? What did people wear in that period? Just make sure you don’t read spoilers!

This makes it easier to visualise the story. You will be more tuned in to the atmosphere of the story.

Step up the game = meningkatkan kemampuan

Tuned in = menyesuaikan diri

Atmosphere = suasana (bukan atmosfir yang di langit hehe)

Movies can also help. But remember: The storyline is often different! The only way to find out is to finish reading it.

Another step to take is to highlight the parts that you don’t understand. You are going to need a dictionary for this one.

I personally don’t mind highlighting and taking notes inside my books. It shows my learning journey.

The next step: Talk to people! Write a blog post or tweet about it. Don’t be shy about what you think of it.

You can also learn about what others think of the book by visiting blogs like http://classicreads.wordpress.com

Who knows, it may help you to see a popular story in a new light.

See in a new light = melihat dalam cara pandang baru.

Another important tip: You don’t have to like what everyone said is cool, if you honestly don’t think it is.

(Shakespeare is a legend but I personally don’t really like Romeo and Juliet. Too sentimental for me :P I like adventures better)

I love Oliver Twist. It proved how simple words “Please, I want more” can have a very powerful meaning with the right context.

Why? Well, read the book and tell me what you think about it! :D

An important point: You can download Classics in PDF form for free from various sources – and it’s legal.

This is because many of the books are published more than 100 years ago, and the authors no longer have copyright for it.

Hopefully it will encourage you to read more Classics :) There are reasons why they are some of the world’s best!

Compiled by @animenur for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 20 July 2014.

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