By Jensen Argyle
Do you believe in second chances? I do, and I believe that everyone deserves them. Even books.
Remember those boring, antiquated books we were once forced to read in High School? Remember how incomprehensible they were and how we all eventually gave up trying to read them? Because let’s face it, who likes to be forced to read?
Thank goodness those days are over. However, some of the books we were forced to read in grade school were actually quite good and worth revisiting at a time in our lives where we are free to pick them up without being forced to read or analyze.
Here are some of the best books we were forced to read in High School that are definitely worth taking a second look into:
The Odyssey by Homer: This epic was so boring when I first read it. I found it weird and I could not sympathize with any of the characters. When I picked this book up last summer, my reading experience was quite different. I found a rich story of adventure, romance, sex, revenge, and heroism. This is definitely worth re-reading for a satisfying and engaging adventure tale.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: If you didn’t like this book in High School I strongly encourage you to read it again. This book is wonderful. It has warmth, heart, laughter, and timeless themes. Scout and Jem are hilarious and will have you laughing out loud on every page. This book is as sweet and inviting as a glass of ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day in the south.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: Yes, the characters will be just as awful as you remember them. But nothing outshines Fitzgerald’s beautiful and masterful writing. This book is worth re-reading just so you can have your breath taken away in awe of Fitzgerald as a writer.
Beowulf: Because it’s awesome. Beowulf literally pulls off a monster’s arms with his bare hands. Need I say more?
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare: Shakespeare is clever and hilarious, and in my opinion this is one of his finest plays to showcase his talent as a writer. You could read it merely for the banter between Beatrice and Benedick, which is always delightful no matter how many times you re-read it.
Never be afraid to give a book a second chance if you didn’t like it the first time. Sometimes we just have to read a book at the right time in our lives. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to re-read 1984. I hated it the first time I read it, but I am a much different person from who I was in High School.
So be sure to give one of the books that you were required to read another chance. You might just fall in love. And as always, happy reading!