As a teacher in high school, I find that these books can be used to bridge the gap between Shakespeare and the modern reader. Shakespeare’s language can be intimidating for students, but once they overcome it they begin to realize that within the Early Modern English lies very modern ideas. When I taught Romeo and Juliet for the first time, my students were fortunate enough to have access to a dual book, allowing them to transition between both languages.
For some reason, I haven’t been exposed to “the classics,” as I found myself primarily taking elective courses that focused on contemporary novels aside from my mandatory survey courses. In the survey classes, we learned from anthologies, so I read bits and pieces of different classics but rarely a classic in its entirety. I seem to have more knowledge in contemporary texts, which is why I enrolled in summer courses that focus on readings I am “expected” to know.
In the midst of the conversation that he started with my brothers and I, the man asked us if we were the type of people who still liked books. Still liked books, as if I would associate with anyone who stopped liking them. He then informed me of this store called Book Barn that sells used books and serves cheez-its and coffee while you shop. He said the last two as if I needed them as incentives to visit the store.
I then vowed to myself that I would not buy a new book until I have read all the books that I own (I have a bad habit of buying new books before reading my other books and they then become forgotten place-holders on my shelf).