In 10th grade I thought I was pretty cool. If anyone asked what my favorite book genre was, I would immediately respond with "the classics," as if appalled anyone would think anything else. For all my claiming to love classic literature I had really only read a handful of them. I struggled through to the end and was not really interested or engaged, but read them for the sake of being able to say I had.
One day my English teacher, I think she was on to me, suggested I read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I was, of course, excited that someone had noticed my supposed obsession with classic literature. I began to read it eagerly in places where I could be easily seen, but as I continued reading I was quickly drawn into Jane's world. I pictured myself at Thornfield getting to know Mr. Rochester along with Jane and trying to figure out the secret of the mysterious Grace Pool. I was obsessed. It was the first of many times in my life that I wanted to read rather than sleep. Charlotte Brontë made her characters come alive for me in a way Jane Austen never had. I really felt a connection to the characters and wished for everything in their lives to work out wonderfully by the end. I liked it so much I promptly reread it when I was finished.
Once I discovered how great the classics really were I went back to the ones I had neglected and reread them with a zeal never seen before. Jane Eyre opened the door for me to explore many pieces of literature that are staples in our society.