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MK's Reading Life

Lifelong passionate reader. Mysteries, Fantasy, and Non-Fiction of various sorts. Currently reading a fair amount focused on WWI and the interwar years. (I have no idea why.)

A fun reason to dig into a Classic you've been avoiding.

Jane Eyre (Oxford World's Classics) - Charlotte Brontë, Margaret Smith, Sally Shuttleworth The Eyre Affair  - Jasper Fforde

There is never enough time to read all the books I want to read and it's always a challenge to pick the next book. Should I read just for fun or should I challenge myself a little more? Genre? Non-fiction? Something new or a classic? I took the easy way out recently and decided to re-read a fun book, Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. I read this when it first came out and remembered enjoying it. But a short way into it this time it occurred to me that I would probably enjoy it all the more if I'd actually read Jane Eyre. So I took a long intermission, and finally did it.


And it wasn't all that painful. I've studiously avoided chick-lit my entire life. When classmate were reading Laura Ingals Wilder, I was reading Jack London. Jane is a pretty plucky heroine through most of the book. It does end with her finding her ultimate fulfillment in marrying her man, which works as a romance, but feels like a bit of a sell out. Yeah, Rochester is the better lover, but St. John wasn't entirely wrong is his assessment of her character.


When I got back to Thursday Next, it was much more enjoyable. And much less like watching Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead without knowing Hamlet. Having a reason to read Jane Eyre, other than "I should" kept me at it and paying closer attention that it would likely have done otherwise. I didn't know which bits I might need to remember. So, kinda like a school assignment, but much more frivolous and fun.