Classic Literature Summer Reading

Why we love classic stories.

I admit it: I like my books old and classic, thank-you-very-much.

There’s something about old-fashioned values, quaint language, and innocent characters and storylines that provide comfort and escape from the jumble of everyday, postmodern life.

However, most of the newer books I read also seem to echo the themes of the classics. It makes me wonder: Old or new, why do we like classic, timeless stories so much?

From The Lord of the Rings to The Chronicles of Narnia, from Austen to the Brontes to Dickens, from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, readers are drawn to the time-tested themes of good and evil, war and peace, love and hate.

There’s a reason why the Cinderella story, Jane Austen’s novels, and the stories from the Bible have been rewritten, reinvented, and reimagined so many times.

We love classic stories because we love classic themes. There’s something glorious about that moment when the good guys beat the bad guys that makes our hearts swell. Stories of love, loyalty, and bravery inspire us to live better.

10 Reasons We Love Classic Stories:

  1. Good triumphs over evil
  2. Second chances come
  3. Hope overcomes despair
  4. Ordinary people become extraordinary heroes
  5. Sacrifices are made
  6. Redemption becomes possible
  7. Things turn out better than expected
  8. Weakness overcomes adversity and power
  9. Healing and wholeness occur
  10. Beauty rises up from the ashes

Classic stories come in a million and one different shapes, sizes, and genres, but most of them share these common themes. It’s human nature to look around our broken world and long for stories of faith, hope, and love. These stories keep us going. They remind us of what’s important, how to love one another better, and to never give up.

I invite you to think about your favorite books and movies. Look through your bookshelves. What themes do you notice in the stories you love most? Please share a few in the comments below.

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Free Download: To download my English Garden Summer Book Walk and printable reading map and activity guide, click here.

If you missed the other articles in this summer reading series, you can catch up here.

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