How to Read and Enjoy the Classics

A Community of Great Literature Readers

Circular Reading Room of Stockholm public library.

About This Blog, Plus Site Index

Hi, I’m MJ! This is a blog about Great Literature in the Western tradition. I have read the classics since youth, obtained advanced degrees in English, taught literature in university classrooms for seventeen years, and talked about it with many other literature lovers. Through all, my enthusiasm for “the Greats” has only continued to grow.

I am here to share that enthusiasm with you, drawing on my conversations about literature with people ranging from beginning university students to expert readers. I will also share some tips for getting more out of what you read, and some of my own thoughts about some of my favorite classics.  On occasion, Guest Writers may appear as well, to share their ideas about literature with you.

What Can You Find on the Site? Click “Continue Reading” for index:

What’s on the Site Menu?

  • HOME: Click to reach the front page of the site. Links to all the blog posts are listed, the most recent at the top. Scroll down to see all. Click “Continue Reading” to see all of any post that looks interesting.
  • THOUGHTS ON THE GREATS: Posts featuring thoughts and ideas about famous authors and works, with the purpose of helping you read and interpret them.
  • LIT 101: GET MORE MEANING: Series of posts to help you learn to read classic Poetry or Fiction (still in progress), step-by-step. Also includes a Reading Resources category.
  • WHY LITERATURE?  Posts focusing on reasons to read classic literature and what qualities make it classic.
  • LISTS AND TIMELINES: What are the classics? Here, find annotated lists of works I consider essential reading, listed according to era they were written. (Work in progress.)
  • LITERATURE  Q & A FORUM: A forum where you can post questions or observations about classic literature. Moderation by MJ.

Come on in, click around, and enjoy the site! I hope you find something here to help you read and enjoy great literature.



  1. April

    Been interested for a long time and enjoy a variety of Literature

    • MJ Booklover

      So glad to hear that! Welcome to our site. Maybe our literary timelines will give you some ideas what to read next–click on “Lists and Timelines” in the site menu for an index. Also check out the “Lit 101” menu for some articles on all kinds of literature. Happy Reading!

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