5 Reasons Writers Should Be Reading the Classics

5 Reasons Authors Should Be Reading the Classics

Today, I’m guest posting over on The World’s Greatest Book, with the post  “5 Reasons Authors Should Be Reading the Classics.” Here’s an excerpt:

When some­one men­tions the phrase “clas­sic book,” what do you think of? That mam­moth copy of War & Peace you used as a doorstop all semes­ter in your junior year? That pile of Cliff’s Notes you bor­rowed from the library when­ever you had to write book reports? All the black and white movies you opted to watch instead of read­ing the books?

Many of us have neg­a­tive asso­ci­a­tions with clas­sic lit­er­a­ture, thanks to teach­ers who “forced” us to read these old books when we were in less-than-appreciative frames of mind. But it’s time to shake off the neg­a­tiv­ity! Not only are the clas­sics a trea­sure trove of won­der­ful sto­ries about our past, present, and future, they’re also a gold mine of learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for authors.

Ten years ago, I made the com­mit­ment to read all the clas­sics, and so far, I’ve worked my way up through the “H” authors (Hemingway and Homer are on my dig­i­tal shelf at the moment). I can­not even begin to tell you how much I’ve gleaned from this com­mit­ment, both as a per­son and a writer. I got to kick this exper­i­ment into high gear when I was asked to write Jane Eyre: The Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic. Analyzing this mas­ter­piece of lit­er­a­ture, on more than just a super­fi­cial level, taught me more about writ­ing than has any other sin­gle read­ing experience.

Want to join the fun? Here are five rea­sons all authors should be read­ing the classics!

Keep reading!

5 Reasons Authors Should Be Reading the Classics

Sign Up Today

hwba sidebar pic

Sign up to receive K.M. Weiland’s e-letter and receive her free e-book Crafting Unforgettable Characters: A Hands-On Introduction to Bringing Your Characters to Life.

About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.


  1. I learned to appreciate the classics, after getting out of school too. The adventure of “writing” story is a continual journey of learning, and growth. Great Article.

    • K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says

      That never-ending journey of learning is what makes it so wonderful. The day I wake up and know it all is the day I quit!

  2. I want your reading list of classics! 🙂


  1. […] who are pointed to the exemplary writing of the classics often complain that the likes of Thomas Hardy and Edna Ferber couldn’t possibly get published […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.