Snow days are the best for readers because they are basically a bonus reading day. A whole, unexpected day to curl up with tea or coffee or hot chocolate and read while watching lovely snow out your window (or ten minutes of sleet. I didn’t forget your unique plight, Texas friends).
But WHAT to read on your bonus reading day, that’s the question. Sure, you could finish the book you are reading, but why not think of it as a Leap Day for reading? A day to read something you normally wouldn’t take time to read. Maybe a classic you’ve pretended you read in school but never did. Or maybe watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix has inspired you to read more books from the epic Rory Gilmore reading list. Regardless, these bite-sized classics are perfect for starting and finishing on a snow day.
1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson’s short stories are certain to retain their position in English literature. His serious rivals are few indeed.” —Arthur Conan Doyle
Remember that terrifying scene from the 1994 movie The Pagemaster? You’ve seen it parodied, you’ve heard it referenced. Read it and find out what all the fuss is about.
2. Bartleby: The Scrivener by Herman Melville
Want an easier Melville than Moby Dick? This short story is exactly what you need. Dip your toe into reading Melville with one of the most classic stories in American Lit.
3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Truman Capote is the most perfect writer of my generation. He writes the best sentences word for word, rhythm upon rhythm.”—Norman Mailer
Okay, Audrey fans, time to up your love of the film and that Deep Blue Something song and finally read it. It was a Hollywood shocker when Audrey Hepburn took the role — Truman Capote thought Marilyn Monroe was more of a natural fit. They toned down the role to make it a better fit for Audrey’s image. Pick up the book and uncover why Holly Golightly was considered too scandalous for Audrey.
4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I love East of Eden. I haven’t yet read Grapes of Wrath, but I’m looking forward to it. Of Mice and Men was a great reminder of why Steinbeck is so wonderful. Again, it’s a classic of American Lit that you can read in an afternoon. Get a taste to whet your appetite for more great American novels.
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Folks down on the beach might have been doctors and accountants a month ago, but it’s Lord of the Flies time now. ” —Sawyer, “In Translation,” LOST.
They seem to have had a rough time of it. It looks like they went bloody Lord of the Flies out there.” —Charlie, “What Kate Did,” LOST.
Two fantastic characters on LOST have read this book. What more reason do you need? Maybe you read this in high school or junior high and hated it. A snow day is as good a day as any to give it a second chance.
6. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Sometimes in real life one meets a character and thinks, “This man comes straight out of Shakespeare or Dickens,” but nobody ever met a Kafka character. … I am inclined to believe that one should only read Kafka when one is in a eupeptic state of physical and mental health and, in consequence, tempted to dismiss any scrupulous heart-searching as a morbid fuss. When one is in low spirits, one should probably keep away from him, for, unless introspection is accompanied, as it always was in Kafka, by an equal passion for the good life, it all too easily degenerates into a spineless narcissistic fascination with one’s own sin and weakness.”— W.H. Auden
One day Gregor Samsa wakes up to discover he is no longer a human but is, instead, a giant bug. It’s as bizarre and delightful as it sounds. Haven’t you always wanted to use Kafkaesque correctly?
If you are truly lucky, maybe you’ll have a week of snow days to finish all the books on this list. What other classics would you recommend for snow-day reading?