Why Read the Classics? | by Italo Calvino | The New York Review of Books

Why Read the Classics? | by Italo Calvino | … to read a great book for the first time in one’s maturity is an extraordinary pleasure, different from (though one cannot say greater or lesser than) the pleasure of having read it in one’s youth. Youth brings to reading, as to any other experience, a particular flavor and a particular sense of importance, whereas in maturity one appreciates (or ought to appreciate) many more details and levels and meanings. We may therefore attempt the next definition:

… We use the word “classics” for those books that are treasured by those who have read and loved them; but they are treasured no less by those who have the luck to read them for the first time in the best conditions to enjoy them.The New York Review of Books
— Read on www.nybooks.com/articles/1986/10/09/why-read-the-classics/