I’m pretty well-read when it comes to new books. At least, for YA. But when it comes to classics, I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read very many. Guys, there’s something I have to admit, and it isn’t pretty. It’s so bad that sometimes, when a stranger* hears I’m a Lit major and asks me my thoughts on a classic, I’ll pretend I’ve read it just so I don’t have to deal with the inevitable gasp and sidelong glance that penetrates my very soul and questions my worth as a human being.

So I’m coming clean. Here are some (only some) of the classic books I haven’t read. Maybe putting them out there will motivate some actual reading on my part.

Jane Eyre

This one is embarrassingly easy to fake. I read the shortened child version when I was little, and then got totally lazy and never read the real thing. Sorry, Charlotte. If a stranger brings it up on a day when I’m feeling particularly cowardly, I’ll smile and say, “Reader, I married him.” and then they’re convinced. I told you it wasn’t pretty!

Little Women

I’ve seen the movie like eighteen times, but I’ve never made it past the part where Jo cuts her hair. Which I’m pretty sure is like the first thing that happens in the entire epic novel.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The closest I’ve gotten to this one is Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective (which is an excellent movie by the way).

Black Beauty and The Secret Garden

I know, I know, especially shameful, seeing as these are two classic children’s novels. Actually, I’m going to get on that like, this weekend, I swear. I’m cringing.

So there you go. My secret list of shame. What are some classics you’ve managed to avoid reading?

*By stranger, I mean someone who I talk to in passing in line at the grocery store, in the elevator, or on a plane. I would never lie about my literary experience to a friend or family member! The travesty!