World Book Day is held annually for lovers of reading, and as what UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova had said in her message on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day, it's one done for "the desire to share ideas and knowledge, to inspire understanding, tolerance and inclusive societies.” It's held every April 23, precisely to commemorate the death of prominent authors William Shakespeare, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, and Miguel Cervantes, along with the birthday of other authors of the same renown, like Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla, and Manuel Mejía Vallejo.
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Think you're one legit bookworm, or just feeling nostalgic of the time before all this reading-via-screen happened? We picked 10 classics for some good ol' literature review!
1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
While it is widely known as a children's book, adults will love reading through Stevenson's book over and over again, reliving the adventures of Jim Hawkins with the pirates in their search for treasure.
2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
You probably watched the cartoon and live action versions growing up, but nothing can match how Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in real life) penned this fantasy novel that people of all ages love even up to this day.
3. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Among one of the many literary pieces penned by Dickens, this book gave readers an eye-opener on juvenile crimes, child labor, and the mistreatment of orphans in 19th century London.
4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
While the book was a flop at the start, what made Melville’s book an icon was because it showcased his flair in using different literary devices, paired with research on whaling.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Spanning several TV, film, and literary adaptations, Austen’s book talks about humanity at its core—love, money, and marriage included—in a hilarious manner that would keep you hooked!
6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Considered as Tolstoy’s best work, this book is a great history lesson, chronicling France’s invasion of Russia in the early 1800s. Don’t be intimidated by the volume of this book (it’s around 1,440 pages!); in between narrations of war, this book serves as a great self-help book, as Tolstoy makes use of his characters to answer questions about living and choosing our destiny.
7. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Inspired by his travel journals in Congo, Conrad’s book presents its reader the dark and grim reality of colonialism and slavery—a major issue during Conrad’s time. With many colleges and universities taking up this book for literary analysis, Conrad's work can be interpreted in different ways, and spark debates from critics.
8. Dracula by Bram Stoker
While Stoker's Dracula was not a bestseller at first, it has given birth to over 1000 novels and 200 films (with Nosferatu as the first "unofficial" film in 1922), making vampire lore a part of pop culture and influencing modern shows such as Vampire Diaries and the Twilight saga.
9. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Released as a sequel to Twain’s Tom Sawyer, this book has its fair share of controversy over the words used in the book, with some saying that Huck Finn is racist. This book is essential as it tackled issues not just on racism, but also on slavery.
10. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Considered as a classic in the science fiction genre, Verne's literary piece perfectly predicted the modern times—from submarines to wetsuits—while narrating Captain Nemo's underwater adventure.
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Banner photograph from Unsplash.com. Book covers from kelmscottbookshop.com, pirates-privateers.com, justcollecting.com, abebooks.com, and wikipedia.org