Re-reading the classics: Dewey’s Read-a-thon mini-challenge

Welcome Break sign
Welcome read-a-thon participants! It’s almost 12 hours in now, so we at the Book Case hope this mini-challenge will be a welcome break from reading—and a fun contest.

Since our prize is copies of the new Penguin Classics editions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, we’re asking you to answer one of two questions in the comments.

1.) Which classic are you reading or re-reading for the read-a-thon, and why?


2.) What is your favorite classic, and why?

The challenge will be open until 10 pm, so think about it and come back if you need more time. One winner will be chosen at random to receive the two books. More pictures of these gorgeous classics can be found here. Trust me, you want these for your bookshelf. Good luck and happy reading!

For the winner!

93 Responses to Re-reading the classics: Dewey’s Read-a-thon mini-challenge

  1. Eva says:

    Pick ONE favourite classic?! That’s painful! I love me same Jane-Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, & Persuasion are my 3 faves of hers, but I love them all. :) I love Trollope as well-The Eustace Diamonds is amazing! And Wilkie Collins and Georget Eliot and I could go on and on. ;)

  2. nomadreader says:

    If your definition of classic is more modern, then my favorites are Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. To veer into the more traditional classics territory, I adore Jane Eyre.

  3. Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is my favorite classic. It began in my childhood when my parents bought a record album (anyone else remember those?) of a dramatization of the book. I would lay in front of the great big family stereo (In a cabinet about 5′ long and 3′ high – similar to the console televisions of that day) and listen to it over and over.

    I have already listened to one audio version of it this year and have selected it for our joint read as part of the November Novella challenge.

  4. My favorite classic, if it can be considered is Romeo and Juliet! It was the first ‘big book’ i read in grade school and was so proud when i finished it! It was very hard for me to understand though, but now as I’m older I’ve grown to love it

  5. My favorite classic is Charolette’s Web. Not only did I read it myself two years ago my school participated in reading aloud a line from the book together and breakign the world record. Listenign to over four hundred people readign at the same time sent chills down my spine. Something I hope everyoen experiences. This mini challenge sounds fun. Happy reading!

  6. mee says:

    I’m reading Dracula for read-a-thon! I haven’t read that many classics but one of them should be Wuthering Heights. Pride and Prejudice is a classic I plan to read next.

    Those are lovely covers!

  7. I’d have to say that Emma by Jane Austen is my favorite classic. Honestly, the Jane Austen books are some of the very few classics I’ve read in the last 15 years. I keep meaning to branch out more, but I don’t get around to it.

  8. Amanda says:

    Ooo…right now I’m reading Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. I put some classics in the pile because I love them. His novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is one of my all time favorites.

  9. Audrey says:

    I know it’s so lame to say this, but I’m going to have to go with Pride and Prejudice. I just love love LOVE Jane Austen, and I’m not really a huge classics fan in general, so the fact that I could read this one over and over – of course it’s my favorite!

  10. Book Psmith says:

    I am reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the first time…I thought I should wait for Christmas but isn’t October the best month for a ghost story? These books are beautiful…I have two in line to be ordered…Great Expectations and Cranford.

  11. Amanda says:

    P.S. Thanks for the giveaway! Those are gorgeous!!! You rock!

  12. debnance says:

    One of my favorites has to be The Odyssey. If you want action and adventure, who could do better than The Odyssey?!

  13. Jennifer says:

    Gone with the Wind is my favorite classic (it’s a classic, right?). I managed to both love and despise just about every character in the book. Being that emotionally invested in characters rarely happens for me unless it’s a series. Of course, it was an epic book spanning over a thousand pages, so it might as well have been a series in itself.

  14. alitareads says:

    My most favourite classic is Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. I only read it for the first time this year, but I loved it so much I’m thinking of re-reading it before the year is up.

    Those new Austen covers are so pretty!

  15. Nise' says:

    I am spending most of my time cheering this time around so no classic reading for me.

    I fell in love with Pride and Prejudice years ago because of the characters strength (Elizabeth, Jane, Mr Darcy) as well as some of the ones that made me want to slap them (Mr. Collins, Mrs. Benett and Mr. Wickham).

  16. Cass says:

    Until recently, my favorite classic has been The Count of Monte Cristo–but just this week I gave in to a long standing ban on anything by Jane Austen and to my amazement I am in love. I’m a bit partial to Sense and Sensibility now because of Elinor (and the movie version with Emma Thompsan, one of my favorites, may have something to do with it), but I’m very much looking forward to finishing Austen’s six novels.

  17. Bea says:

    Asdfdsasdf! First of all, I must say those editions are the loveliest editions ever, even if I don’t quite understand why P&P has birds on its cover.

    And for the classics… I’m, like Eva, a Jane Austen person. So, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility are my favorite novels. But I’m also in love with Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing!

  18. Chantele says:

    I’m reading Dracula by Bram Stoker for the read-a-thon, since I have never ever read it. I LOVE Pride and Prejudice, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I think they both tie as my favorites!:)

  19. Ash says:

    My favorite classic to reread is Jane Eyre times one thousand. The book always grows with me. I mentioned this on someone else’s blog earlier. The first time I read it I was seventeen and obsessed with the romance of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. The most recent time I read it was a few weeks ago. I’m almost twenty now and could relate to Jane’s feelings about finding a job and a new life. I’ve also reread On The Road several times.

  20. Bea says:

    BTW, thank you for this mini-challenge. Is so nice to stop to talk about books for awhile. Plus, I’m keeping note of every classic mentioned here!

    And, respect the first question, I’m hoping to read Eliabeth Gaskell’s My Lady Ludlow before the end of the day :D

  21. Arielle says:

    I have re-read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde during the read-a-thon. I’ve been wanting to re-read this one because I read it a long time ago and couldn’t remember the ending, and that bothered me!

    My favorite classic would have to be Pride & Prejudice though. I read it for the first time earlier this year and already want to read it again! I loved everything about it, the plot, the characters, and especially the writing.

  22. Alex says:

    My favorite re-read material has always been To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s one of the best, most moving books I’ve ever read, and probably the only required book in school I didn’t mind tackling. It opened my eyes to the realities of life from way back then, and it’s easy to read and understand for the high school freshman I was, considering the heavy topic. I read over and over again a lot of books (Nancy Drew, some YA), but To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those books that has always stayed with me, as both a reader and student. It made me feel many emotions throughout the book — I cried, I got angry, I got frustrated. I wanted the bad guys to be real so I could beat them to a pulp. The book has affected me in so many ways, and every now and then when I read it, I still feel the emotions wash over me, as if every time is my first time reading it.

    I’ve always thought that if ever TKAM isn’t considered a classic, it is to me, personally, because it has left a lasting significance not only in my life as a reader, but in my life overall.

  23. Teresa says:

    My readathon is pretty much devoted to one classic and one classic alone. Armadale by Wilkie Collins. I am halfway through and I am loving it. I’m reading it for the Classics Circuit (, and I decided to read it today (even if it means a low overall page count and number of books read) because a Wilkie Collins story is so filled with twists and suspence that it rewards long, long periods of reading.

  24. Kimm says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t pick any classics to read for the read-a-thon. Typically, I take longer to read them!

    My favorite classic is Persuasion by Jane Austen. Watching a young woman finally take control (if you truly good back in the 1800’s) of her life is inspiring. Plus, Captain Wentworth ain’t that bad either….

  25. Emily says:

    My all time favorite would have to be Pride and Prejudice. :)

    Those editions are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

    My other favorite classics include:
    The Great Gatsby
    Franny and Zooey
    All Jane Austen
    Jane Eyre
    Slaughterhouse Five

    Thanks for this great mini-challenge!

  26. Petunia says:

    When I first read 1984 I hated it. I was a paranoid wreck for about a month after reading it. I’m so glad I went back and reread it. I realized that what I hated about it was the emotions that it stirred in me. That second time around I was able to appreciate how amazing it was that a book could be so powerful.

  27. fiona says:

    I’m reading “Pride and Prejudice” for the first time …I know it is a hard thing to admit at the rip old age of 55 but Austen never made it to my reading pile although I have probably seen every screen rendition of this classic..loving it so far but wish I hadn’t fallen asleep around midnight my time (I’m in South Korea) so I just fixed breakfast and plan on finishing it up now…thanks for the challenge

  28. Memory says:

    MOLL FLANDERS was my favourite classic for a long, long time. I love how the narrator rambles on, completely ignoring the need for any sort of chapter break or time lapse. I love that she’s unreliable, too; she’s forever swearing to reform, but three days later she’s back to her old tricks.

    I recently read THE WOMAN IN WHITE, though, and I think it may now be my favourite classic. It took a long, long time to get going, but once everything was in full swing I was hard pressed to put it down. It was tense and exciting and just plain fun to read.

  29. Laura says:

    I didn’t pick any classic for read-a-thon, but my all-time favorite (besides the Little House books which I consider classics) is Little Women.

  30. Melissa Mc says:

    I’m trying to finish The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte for the read a thon — a twist on a classic author — but my favorite classic is Gone With the Wind. Rhett and Scarlet are timeless characters. I read it for the 1st time 4 yrs ago — and it’s SO MUCH better than the movie! I love it because Margaret Mitchell transports the reader to a time gone by — and I love it when an author can make me cry!

  31. nfmgirl says:

    My favorite classic that I occasionally re-read is Brave New World. As a teen, I actually found it to be one of the most frightening books that I’d ever read, because it really did show how malleable the human mind is.

  32. Trisha says:

    What a difficult question to answer! George Eliot’s Middlemarch popped into my head first. I truly enjoyed that book! But I have to say that King Lear has really stuck with me ever since my first reading.

  33. resurfacer says:

    My fav classic would be Dicken’s “A christmas carol”. I have not picked up a classic for this year’s read-a-thon though

  34. Stormi says:

    oooh I like this I lost my copy of Pride and Prejudice because of water damage..maybe I will get lucky and win a copy..hehehehe

    Well Iam not rereading anything since I have a TBR pile that could reach my ceiling twice but my favorite Classics are any Jane Austen and also Jane Eyre by Charlette Bronte.

    Happy reading everyone!

  35. Sherrie says:

    My classic I am reading for the read-a-thon is Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. My favorite classic is Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. I re-read this book this year and it brought back so many childhood memories. I didn’t have a yeller dog, mine was black and her name was Trixie, and she was a faithful as Yeller. Have a great day!

    Just Books

  36. kidsilkhaze says:

    Hmmmm… I’m not planning on reading or rereading any classics tonight. My favorite classic? Also hard. I’m going to go with As I Lay Dying by Faulkner

  37. janicu says:

    I suppose my favorite classic is Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Always liked that one, probably because of the whole holding on to hope when all seems lost aspect of the romance. :)

  38. I am reading (for the first time) some of the Betsy-Tacy books! They are so fun.

    Some of my favorites include Little Women, Jane Eyre, Persuasion, and Lorna Doone.

  39. bookworm says:

    My favorite classic is Pride & Prejudice :) It’s the one book I re-read and never tire of. I love the plot and characters. And I just love the story between Darcy and Lizzie, I think its the perfect love story.

  40. My favorite classic is To Kill A Mockingbird. I remember reading it for the first time in 8th(?) grade English class and then purchasing my own well-used copy soon after that. It was one of the first books that made me realize that I love reading.

  41. Kristi says:

    You know – I think I am going to plan the next readathon a little better and actually incorporate some of the classics that I haven’t read into it! But as for my favorite – It would be Wuthering Heights – there has always been something about that book that captured me – maybe the tragic love story – or the setting – it would have to be my favorite!

  42. Milka says:

    There are many classics I love, but my all time favorite is Pride and Prejudice. I think I’ve read it like 8 times during this year, over 30 times over all. I just love the characters, the wit of Jane Austen, the gorgeous looks of Darcy, the misunderstandings, the glamour of the era… The list goes on and on.

  43. Monica says:

    This is tricky, because the book I think of as my favorite classic may… not actually count. It’s certainly not as famous as what most people are mentioning, at least. But in any case, I’ll talk about it anyway, because I do dearly love it.

    It’s “Daddy Long-Legs,” by Jean Webster. I read it for the first time when I was seven and immediately decided that I needed my life to run exactly along the lines of Judy Abbott’s, complete with falling in love the someone as Strong and Handsome (and Wealthy) as Jervis Pendleton.

    I’m on my fifth or sixth copy at this point, because I do literally read the covers off of them. It is perhaps my number one comfort book, and has helped me through high school, college, and the current super-awkward twenty-something years I find myself trapped in. ;)

  44. Erica says:

    My favorite classic is Anna Karenina. Beautifully written and offers an unforgettable glimpse into Russian life!

  45. Icedream says:

    My favorite classic is “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. It was required reading my first year in college, Intro to Social Work, and it had a huge impact on me and my views of social justice and equality in America. I haven’t re-read it in a very long time although I still have my original dog-eared copy. Perhaps it’s time to read it again.

  46. Joseph says:

    I’m afraid the only book in my Readathon pile that qualifies as a classic would be Christians and the Fall Of Rome which is an excerpt from Gibbon’s classic The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and part of Penguin’s wonderful Great Ideas series. Unfortunately, it is at the bottom of my pile. But perhaps I can move it up …

  47. I’ve just read “Where Angels Fear to Tread” by E.M. Forster, (VERY funny story!) who lived close to me, but not in the same time period, of course! :) And “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin (I loved it!). Both surprised me, and in a good way! They are both also on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, list, so I can sleep happy! LOL Not that I am going to sleep now. I plan to stay up, but I’m drooping! LOL 12.50am here now!

  48. NTE says:

    I just finished a children’s classic: My Father’s Dragon, mostly because I’ve heard such good things about it & wanted to see if it was as good as I’d heard. I really enjoyed it: full of nonsense, which is is pretty important, if you ask me.

  49. mari says:

    I have one book in my read a thon pile that is a classic. Farenheit 451. Hoping to get to it sometime tonight.

  50. Ruby says:

    I currently have Pride & Prejudice that I’m re-reading for the 24h readathon. I haven’t even finished one page yet. It’s my go-to book when I’m trying to read whilst walking lol.

    My favourite classic of all time is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”
    Man, that Sherlock Holmes sure is something!

  51. I’ve just started reading classics because I hated all of the ones that I read in high school and my teachers kinda turned me off of reading. But I read Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and I adore it. It’s definitely my favorite because of how funny it is!

  52. My favorite classic is definately Pride and Prejudice! I just love the story! It can read it over and over again!

  53. Sharla says:

    Yay! Great questions.

    I am reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy for this read-a-thon. I haven’t started it yet, but it is next on my list. My favorite classic would have to be The Grapes of Wrath. Happy Reading!

  54. Amanda says:

    I have so many favorite classics! Rebecca is my most recent read, and it was brilliant.

  55. Eden says:

    I’m actually forcing myself to stay away from “classics” for this read-a-thon because those are what I usually read, and I need to spend some time with books written after 1900.

    But my favorite classic is probably Moby-Dick. As far as I’m concerned, it is THE “Great American Novel” and the most sublime book I have ever read. I read it earlier this year, and it was hard not to allow myself to start it over again as soon as I’d finished.

  56. bookbliss says:

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte has to be my absolute favorite! <3

  57. sassymonkey says:

    My favourite is Pride and Prejudice. I read it at least once yearly and have since I was 11. Love it!

  58. Trish says:

    I’m about to start Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton! Hope it’s a good one. My favorite classic is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

  59. Sara says:

    I really like Jane Eyre. I read it for an AP English class when I was in high school and didn’t love it, but it started to grow on me after. It had romance, mystery, and a secret wife locked in the attic: what’s not to love?

  60. Jodie says:

    I’m reading ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins because it sounded spooky and mysterious so I chose it as an RIP reading challenge choice. It’s almost the end of that challenge and I need to make some strides with this, my final book for the challenge. Readathon really seems to have helped me focus on it and I’ve read over 170 pages, taking me to page 450.

  61. Diane says:

    Old Yeller, To Kill a Mockingbird & The Pigman for starters.

  62. Jane Eyre, no doubt. She was a strong individual despite her station and that time period.

  63. Paula Shene says:

    there are so many but the one that rises to the top for me is Willie Collin’s Woman in White. Collins as was Dickins [Collins was I believe married to one of Dickin’s daughters]were progressives, in my opinion, trumpeting the wrongs of societies mores. Collin’s women were always society misfits but were the heroines triumphing at the end.

  64. My favorite classic is also my favorite book hands down: Voltaire’s Candide. Funniest piece of satire I’ve ever read, and still so very true even in modern times. I absolutely love it!

  65. Brianna says:

    I finished Old Man and the Sea, because I had bought the hardback version of his four famous novels and am so tired of dragging the heavy book around me (The sun also rises, a farewell to arms, for whom the bell tolls, and old man and the sea), I had never read Hemingway in school and decided to read them all.

    My favorite of the four was A Farewell to Arms.

  66. becky says:

    I have so many favorite classics. I love, love, love Frankenstein. I do love Jane Austen–particularly Persuasion. I love Jane Eyre. I have also newly discovered Anthony Trollope.

  67. Tricia says:

    I read North and South this morning for the read-a-thon. But, my favorite is Pride and Predjudice!

  68. Bookjourney says:

    My book club just finished reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and since we started reading a classic a year, I think this is the book that spoke to me the most.

    I hope to read more classics as I go – there are still so many I have not had the privilege of diving into! :)

  69. […] 8pm Readathon Hour 13 (Hour 11 SST) Pages read previous two hours – 129 Book Reading – The Bride’s Farewell Snacks consumed – nada. I’m still full of Chinese food. Notes: Today is going by faster than I would have thought, or maybe that’s just the caffeine talking. The Bride’s Farewell is growing on me, but it took a long time. I only have a couple of chapters left to read. Then I’ll start Shadow of the Wind before Denise shows up to whack me over the head with it. Hmm what colour is Shadow of the Wind – red or brown? I think it’s brown. Mini-challenges? I did Tara’s books that bite challenge and Trisha’s re-reading the classics challenge. […]

  70. Crystal F says:

    I will make everyone gasp with my answer – but I have never been big on the classics. I am starting to enjoy them now. I think my main problem was they were forced upon us in high school. Now I choose to read them and I enjoy them.

    My favorite is Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird (if that is a classic) comes in a close second.

  71. mervih says:

    I like Frankenstein a lot but I guess my favorite is Dumas’ the Three Musketeers.

  72. Grace says:

    My favorite classic is Pride and Prejudice. Every time I read it I get something new and different from it. It’s one of those books that I read over and over again because it is never the same. Another favorite is Little Women. It was the first big people book I read by myself. I still cry when I read it and it is one of those books that will forever have a place on my bookshelf.

  73. Rayna says:

    OMG I should have thought about rereading this earlier I have it on my bookshelf after all. Anyway my favorite classic is Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. I loved this book because I lived in Florida the first time I read it and could relate to the locations in the book. I wonder if I would like it as much now? I guess I’ll find out soon, I’ll start rereading it next.

  74. Anastasia says:

    My favorite classic is probably Little Women. I can read it over and over again and never get bored. Neither can I decide on a favorite sister– Jo, or Amy? (Beth and Meg are just blah to me, but then, I haven’t reread it in a while. Maybe I’ll end up liking them someday?)

  75. emily says:

    My favorite classic that I am going to have to reread at some point soon would be ‘The Sound and the Fury’ by William Faulkner – maybe I was just in a good place when I read it, but I loved it. The characters are all so unusual and Faulkner’s writing sucks you right in.

  76. christine says:

    I am absolutely in love with The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) and Daisy Miller (James). I had lost my enthusiasm during my later teen years. These stories were required in my first English course in college and they reminded me why I love books.

  77. Tony says:

    I would have to say (after much deliberation) that my favorite classic is Crime & Punishment.

  78. I’m not reading it for this readathon, but my all-time favourite classic is Jane Eyre. When I was a little girl, I was so fascinated by the homely Jane and the dark brooding Mr. Rochester. As I grew older and gained a stepfather, I was amused to read the line, “Young lady, I am disposed to be gregarious and communicative tonight,” because that sounds exactly like something my stepfather would say. Despite the fact that I’m trying to use the library more and Barnes & Noble less, Jane Eyre is one book I must own, because when I must read it at 2:30 a.m., I must read it then and there.

  79. Michelle says:

    Just one? Let’s see – I would have to say that Wuthering Heights is probably my favorite. I love how Catherine and Heathcliff’s love, while dysfunctional, is perfect for THEM and defies generations.

  80. Marg says:

    I didn’t even consider a classic for readathon, simply because whether it actually be the case or not, in my mind I think that they are books that require more concentration than other more contemporary reads.

    My favourite classic – Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Love that book!

  81. Darn, those are two of my favorite books, sorry to have missed the contest. Jane Austen is my favorite author.

    My choices, had I read this post in time would have been Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Jane Eyre.

  82. […] winner of Trisha at The Book Case’s mini-challenge Re-Reading the Classics was Tami & […]

  83. Actually, I know why I passed — the lacking articulation. Shame, too, since the black would’ve hidden it fairly well.

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