A common complaint that must be heard daily in classes throughout the land is that the literature that they are studying is just not going to be of any use when the children grow up into adults in the real world.
On the one hand, they have a point. English literature is never going to help you build a bridge, or bake a cake. On the other hand, they are completely wrong if they think that all of those old books will never teach them anything. They can, and they will prove invaluable in so many other ways as life progresses.
Of course you will be able to talk about things without studying and understanding English literature but you can be so much more interesting if you have something other to talk about than the weather and last night’s television. An interest in literature is something that stays with you and grows as you get older. The stories that you read help to form an integral part of the way you look at the world and they always leave you with plenty to talk about. There is nothing better than talking passionately about a book with somebody else who has read the same thing, especially if their opinion about it is different to yours!
A Better Vocabulary
People who read can speak more eloquently than those who don’t. This is quite a sweeping generalisation, but in the most part it is true. Writers love to show off just how skilful they are with language. Reading then is a constant test for your intelligence and your language skills. You might never use some of these words in conversation, but you will understand their meaning and you will see how over time your ability to speak clearly and correctly improves as you assimilate the things that you have read.
Let’s face it, sometimes life can be pretty dull. We go about our daily chores come rain or shine and for the majority of people everything can sometimes feel a little bit monotonous. Reading some English literature can help you to escape from the stresses and pressures of the daily grind. All you need to do is simply open the book and turn the page and you will be transported to whole other worlds. In this sense, reading can become a great motivation for you to do more with your life; to discover for yourself the places and emotions that at the moment only exist for you on the page.
But It’s Just So Difficult
It must be admitted that not everybody who avoids English literature does so because they don’t want to be able to enjoy it. For some people, the problem is that the texts themselves are just too difficult for them to understand.
This is quite a common problem and one that can also be quite easily solved. Revision books are a great way for you to have a guide that helps you to understand the denser parts of a particular text.
You might feel unsure about something, or fail to understand why this character did this, that or the other. These revision guides are perfect in that they answer the questions that you were unable to answer for yourself. You read the book alone and later refer to the revision guide and the chapter summaries that they provide just to make sure that you are following everything correctly. If you are not, no problem, the easy to read chapter summaries inside will make everything clear and allow you to get on with your reading in pleasure.
Literature is for everyone, and nobody should ever feel excluded from it. The best writers are always the ones who can strike a chord with readers of all levels. And for those that don’t, you can just cheat a little and pick up those revision guides!