Monday, February 19, 2018

The Classics Club: Wrap-Up

Well, the 5-year end date (February 8th) for my Classics Club project has officially come and gone. Any regular readers of this little corner of the internet probably won't be surprised to hear that I did not complete 50 classics in the past 5 years. Once I switched my focus to children's classics and loosened some self-imposed restrictions (i.e. I wanted to count all the Winnie the Pooh books as just 1 entry for the Classics Club, rather than 4), I did manage to read 32 (list of titles here). I'm pretty pleased with that number, but it's a far cry from my original goal.

And the part of this project meant to encourage blogging about classics (rather than just reading them) was a total flop for me. I only blogged about 15 of the books which includes one brief mention, some mini-reviews, and only a total of 8 individual posts:

Looking back on this list, it strikes me that even though I really struggled to blog about classics, several of these posts were so fun to write (and discuss in comments). Those last three " an Adult" ones were some of my very favorites and it was so wonderful to hear other readers' memories and experiences of beloved books. I need to remember that as I continue on my classics journey, without the added *pressure* of a Classics Club list.

I'll admit, I am still tempted to try again and jump back in with a new list, but if I am really honest with myself, I need to admit that joining this (wonderful!) group hasn't actually motivated me to pick up classics with any kind of regularity. And funnily enough, I've completed not one, but TWO more classics since my Classics Club period came to an end! I was about 25% of the way into A Little Princess on the 8th which I finished a few days later. I then went on to start and finish A Wrinkle in Time this past weekend. That's two classics in 11 days compared to 32 in roughly 1,825 days!

I won't pretend I'll be keeping up that pace, but clearly something else has been encouraging me to pick up classics when I don't have a Classics Club project to work on. The short answer is the CarrotTopPaperShop Kindred Spirit Club. Jenny Williams, the artist behind the shop, has just recently started a bit of an impromptu book club amongst her newsletter subscribers over in her Kindred Spirit Facebook group. I'm trying to be on Facebook as little as possible these days, but I still joined in order to jump in on the discussions. I haven't contributed a whole lot, but I enjoy hearing other people's thoughts and most of all I really just enjoy reading along with a group -- especially when it's a classic I've otherwise delayed picking up.

So while the Classics Club does bring readers/bloggers together, we're all still really just doing our own thing. At least for the moment, the book club approach is the way to go for me. And it certainly helps that almost all of the books suggested for future discussions are ones I have on my shelves and/or actively want to read. Jenny's shop (and her taste in books) has a focus on literary heroines, so I probably shouldn't be surprised! I also think the more I read with this group, the more I will get in the habit of reading classics and the easier it might be to pick them up on my own going forward -- we shall see!

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P.S. I'd be remiss not to mention that Madeleine of Top Shelf Text just hosted a read-along of A Wrinkle in Time over on her Instagram account and I plan to continue reading along with her for the rest of the series. It was quite the convenient overlap that I could read A Wrinkle in Time along with so many people :)

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Check out CarrotTopPaperShop for prints, greeting cards, totes, bookplates, and more -- she has lots of great stuff perfect for a library, nursery, kids room, or anywhere, really :)

The next Kindred Spirit Club Facebook discussion of A Wrinkle in Time will take place on March 6th if you want to join!

Subscribe to the Kindred Spirit newsletter for updates, deals, etc.

And find more info about The Classics Club if you want to join up there!


  1. Congrats! That's 32 more classics than you would have read otherwise! I'm getting tantalizing close to completing mine, and I am seriously contemplating a second Classics Club round focused solely on children's literature. That's not a project I plan to start right away, but I feel like I could get a lot of ideas from you and your various lists! :) Readalongs and book clubs can be very motivating. I can see why that's working for you. Enjoy any other classics you pick up, without the pressure!

    1. Thanks Julie! And that is true -- I should look on the bright side more :)

      You're totally going to make it -- you are so close! And I think a second round dedicated to children's lit is an AWESOME idea -- and you'd be better at following through too :)


I'd love to hear what you think :)