I've been re-reading old favorites. Wait, that's not quite correct. I've been listening to audio books of classic fiction. Most recently I listened to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I'm moving on to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
One fun element of re-reading novels is gauging your own changed reaction to the characters and plot. I have a more developed understanding of the historical and cultural background than I did during my first encounter with these stories.
Another is the enjoyment of the way in which language was used over a century and a half ago. I love the contemporary cozy mystery, which uses modern vocabulary and syntax. Reading classics stretches my skills, reminding me that language can be elegant as well as practical.
I am happy to report that novels read for high school or college assignments are much more fun to read for the purpose for which they were written - entertainment. No note-taking, no reports or papers. Just pure pleasure.
Other recent visits with old friends were Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, and Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility.
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