What Books Made It Onto My Apartment Shelf?

Hey, hi, hello! It’s been a while (again). Who would’ve thought law school would be such a time suck? (*insert eye roll here*)

As I mentioned way back in July, I moved to a new city to start law school (which ended up being entirely online, but I’m glad I’m here anyways.) A necessary consequence of this is that I have limited shelf space (read: one small shelf that needs to hold other things, like law books), and I left a great many books at my parents’ house. While said house isn’t too far away, I wanted to be sure I was maximizing space and acknowledging that I probably wouldn’t have too much spare time to read (I was right.) So the tough question became: what to bring?

My initial move-in involved only about 5. I was then home the next week and decided I could fit quite a few more, so I brought some more with me which put me at just 12 (although I have since added a couple). Now that it’s been a couple months, I thought I would share what I have with me and why!

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What Literary Classics Have I Read?

Over the years, I’ve seen so many people talk about the classics they want to read or having goals for reading one classic a month or something along those lines. And recently, that got me thinking about which ones I’ve read already. Considering I just graduated with a degree in English Literature (I just got my diploma in the mail yesterday so it’s ~official~), my list of read classics is longer than I’d ever thought it’d be.

Now, before I start or list my qualifications for a “classic,” I want to give a very English-majory disclaimer: literary classics are a very exclusive academic category that are typically used as a means of gatekeeping literature and defining what is worthy of praise and attention and reputation. The general public typically has no say in what is considered a literary classic, with historically white and male academic circles existing as the sole deciding group in determining a “classic” label. This means that the category, in general, does not reflect the wider population and their experiences. This is not to say that we should just brush off classics; they are (generally) considered classics for a reason, and their place in the literary canon is a result of their impact on the broader literary world. So, yes, we should absolutely read them, but perhaps we should be reading from a place of critique and skepticism, reading them because we want to understand their place in the literary canon, not so we can act superior because we’ve read them.

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