“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” – Unknown.
There’s books, and then there’s literature.
…And then there’s great literature.
Some people just really love books. I’m one of those people. Chances are that if you’re here and reading this blog post, you are too. Books are the windows to an enormous world beyond us. They can put us in someone else’s shoes for an hour, and give us a peek into their thoughts, motives, and lives. They’re a wealth of knowledge, and a wealth of questions, and there’s no greater magic in the world.
We know, of course, that there are books out there that suck. I don’t even have to name any. Three or four probably just came to your mind. On the other hand, there’s good books, and great books – literature.
What constitutes literature has been often debated, but, generally, literature is any book which has been deemed to have artistic and intellectual value – a book that people are still willingly reading and finding useful years and years after it has been written.
We bookworms know that literature isn’t just for the classroom. Literature isn’t even meant to be truly read. It’s meant to be devoured, and it’s meant to devour us – heart and soul and brain together.
Take Shakespeare, for instance. Who doesn’t love a good Shakespeare play? They might be hard to read at first, but once you get immersed in that Elizabethan prose, you can get lost in the ups and downs of some of the most amazing plotlines ever conceived. Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, A Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar – has any other playwright been so influential?
Did you know that Shakespeare invented over 1700 of our commonly-used words, and countless other sayings that didn’t exist until he wrote them down? Think about “it’s Greek to me” (Julius Caesar), “break the ice” (Taming of the Shrew), and words like “dwindle” and “barefaced”…we owe all of these to Shakespeare.
And while we’re at it, let’s take a moment to talk about Jane Austen. Seriously, this girl wrote her first book at age sixteen, and she’s been enchanting the world with some of the best-beloved and most-influential romance novels ever since. Nearly every romance author, whether they like it or not, wishes they could live up to Jane Austen.
Or, maybe you’re a Brontë sisters sort of person. Whether you’re more Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, we won’t judge. Whatever floats your boat.
Speaking of Gothic and Romantic literature, this blog wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t pay homage to Lord Byron. This guy was ridiculous, but he wrote some great poetry.
I’m more of an Edgar Allen Poe type myself, though.
“Quoth the Raven: Nevermore”.
Who’s your favorite literary author, be it playwright, poet, or novelist? Thoreau, Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Homer, Melville, Kafka, Fitzgerald, Dickens…or someone else? Check below to see some more awesome literature t-shirts. How many do you recognize? Which books have you read? Let us know!