We all know I love Pride & Prejudice. But after this post where I talked about it a wee bit more, a few people mentioned they hadn't read it. Not just that, but that they felt guilty or expected me to dislike (aka judge) them for it.
I mentioned that I read a few lines aloud to my friends. After I read this one:
I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours,'' he coldly replied. She said no more, and they went down the other dance and parted in silence; on each side dissatisfied, though not to an equal degree, for in Darcy's breast there was a tolerable powerful feeling towards her, which soon procured her pardon, and directed all his anger against another.
This quote - oy, the shivers it sends down my spine. But my friends just stared at me blankly. My best friend said "I'm not smart enough to read books like that."
That comment stayed with me, much like all of the 'don't hate me but I haven't read it', or the 'I'm ashamed I've never read it' comments on my last post. I would never think anything of the sort about anyone, that they are not smart enough to read something, or that they 'should' read anything. Sure, I love it. I don't expect anyone else to. I just love to talk about it.
I certainly don't think I am any smarter than my very smart friend just because I read a certain book. I mentioned I had to read it more than a few times before I understood it all, and most people don't have the patience or insanity for that. I know this is why I cannot pick up other classics as readily, because I cannot look past the parts I don't understand and see the story.
The only reason I read Pride & Prejudice is because the movie was coming out with Keira Knightley, and I was kind of obsessed with her, and I wanted to see it, but I have this weird thing where I must read the book before I see the movie (hypocrite; out of Jane's other books I have only read Persuasion but I have seen all the screen adaptions...).
But anyway. These are some reasons why you shouldn't read it if you don't want to:
1. Pride & Prejudice is not an easy read. I don't think I am smart and sometimes I just want an easy read. This book is an easy read for me, only because I have read it so many times! I have recently started reading Jane Austen's other books, and they are nowhere near as easy for me to get through. But really, the only 'not easy' parts are the big / old school words and you could skip most of them and still understand the book.
2. It is so frustrating sometimes. Gah! If they weren't so proud, or prejudiced. Jk. Seriously though, you just want Mrs Bennet to shut up for a second, and Lydia to stop being such a hussy, and Wickham and his lies. This book could be over in a couple pages if everyone understood each other a bit more - but that would be no fun.
3. You can get your P&P fix elsewhere. The movie, the BBC TV series, the youtube series, Bridget Jones... The reason that P&P is a over 200 years old and still resonates with modern readers is because no matter what changes, so much stays the same. Romance, misunderstandings, social class, family... The wording might be different but life is so much the same in some ways. That's why it can be modernised into Bridget Jones and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I love the book, yes, but I love the story in all its various forms.
4. Everyone has different tastes! I tried to read my husband's favourite books and couldn't get through the whole series. Bloggers recommend nonfiction, mysteries or scary books (and my definition of scary is like a child's), and I know I won't like them so I don't add them to my list. Reading is the most fabulous thing in the world. If you don't like reading, that's cool too. But if you do, you really ought to read what you want (duh) and not my favourite just because I won't shut up about it.
5. You might not like it. Oh stop it, you'll make me cry. I couldn't bear it if someone disliked my favourite book. There would be tears, and we couldn't be friends anymore. I can't talk about it.
On one hand I want everyone to love P&P and on the other, I'm like no, keep away. This is mine. I know I'm not twisting any arms to read it, and I know most people would read what they want anyway, but I just wanted to say that it's OK not to like my favourite book. I know it's a classic, and it's amazing, and I never shut up about it, but really. It's OK.
I guess what I am trying to say is if you want to read it because you want to read it - go right ahead, and please love it and tell me all about it - but if you don't, that's beyond fine. Reading anything is fabulous, because really.... there is no enjoyment like reading!