Literary Traditions for Every Season
I am absolutely a person of tradition. Though I have only been married for a year, I worked very consciously to make sure that my first year of marriage was filled with customs that my husband and I could carry out for the rest of our lives. Traditions, Rituals, Customs are all things that the human spirit has participated in since recorded history. Why? Because it gives us comfort in something staying the same while everything else changes.
As with most things that I love, I categorize in my head the novels that I love the very, very most. Not surprisingly- they are all classics. However, I realized that I have created a tradition in reading these classics at certain times during the year in order to get the most enjoyment out of them. Some of them make sense because of the scenery and some are due to the time in my life when I read them first. If you haven’t started a literary tradition, I encourage you to start now and see how you view the novel differently as you age and life’s lessons are built up every year.
Summer: Summer is always a tricky season because a lot of Chick-Lit comes out this time of year and my weekends spent on the beach are generally used by catching up on titles such as “My Jane Austen Summer”, “To Catch A Prince”, “Chasing Harry Winston”, etc. (At least that was this summer… Don’t judge!) However, I always read “Pride and Prejudice” in the summer- generally in July- because it’s my anniversary and it’s my all-time favorite fun read novel.
Fall: Fall is when I usually get my “serious” reading started. The reason is because everyone else is going back to school and so I generally read something I feel like I should read that I never did in school. Example: Last year, I read “The Great Gatsby” for the first time. I know what you’re thinking… YOU DIDN’T READ THAT IN HIGH SCHOOL? Nope. Actually my high school gave us the choice of what we wanted to read… “Hamlet” or “Gatsby”. Now why would a high school even give that choice? I mean, really!?! So, I chose “Hamlet”- I don’t regret it but I wish I had gotten the opportunity to read both. So, I am making up for it in my mid-20’s. I haven’t decided what exactly I am going to read this year… Suggestions would be nice below! 🙂
Winter: Winter is generally my most literary time of the year. It’s not really that cold here in Southern California but when I read online about my out-of-state friends that are stuck inside by the fire with a book due to a snow storm, I just go ahead and pretend that I am stuck indoors too… even if it is 60 degrees outside on Christmas. My traditions really have a foundation this time of the year though. The week of Thanksgiving, I read “Little Women”. My parents gave me a hard bound beautiful copy when I was probably about 8 years old. When I received it, I read it aloud to my mom, one chapter a night, until it was finished. It is still my most treasured hard copy book. Plus, I love the scenes of Thanksgiving and Christmas all throughout the novel, it puts me in the holiday spirit. Secondly, “Jane Eyre” is read somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas because it is dark, dreery, and takes place most of the time near fires or in the snow. Great winter book! Lastly, almost 10 years ago now, my dad gave me his copy of “Wuthering Heights” (my now all time favorite book…ever) right as the fall semester was about to end (Around Dec. 15th) and I had it read by Christmas. As I said above, it is my all time favorite and I just love the dreery scenery and the gloomyness outside while reading it makes the Moors all too real in my mind. Traditions have their anchor right during this time of year!
My actual little women book 🙂
Spring: Last but not least, Spring! The time of year when I am DONE with dreary books and I want books that lift my spirit and get me ready for the new things! I love books that give me hope and a GREAT love story! So my favorite novel to get spring kicked off is “Sense and Sensibility”. I love the hope and joy that it gives me and it is just a really fun read!
If you don’t have any traditions, create one! They are so fun and re-discovering your lost love in literature is always exciting.
What are your literary traditions? Let me know! I’d love to hear!
Until next time, Keep on reading! 🙂