Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10:24 AM

Everybody's first Austen book
I was at a book store the other day and I saw two different people holding copies of “Pride and Prejudice”.
Now that I consider myself an Austen reader (which, let’s face it, it’s no big deal, she only wrote six novels) I look down on people who only read "Pride and Prejudice". “They’re not real fans!” – my snobish look tells them.

But that’s just plain evil. "Pride and Prejudice" was in fact the first Austen book I read. Not because of the beautiful stylish covers they have now, but just because it was part of the assigned reading for a college class.

I remember buying it without any excitement or expectactions – I had never even seen the movie! Later on, I was so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t put it down. I read it in the bus during my morning and evening commute.

During one of these commuter readings, Mr. Darcy had just delivered a letter to Elizabeth before I got off the bus. I rushed home to read the letter but a neighbour saw me on the street and came to talk to me. I explained I needed to hurry (I just had to read Mr. Darcy’s letter!)

Another good memory is the excellent grade I got on the paper I wrote for college. Unfortunately, the paper got lost when I was changing computers and the professor never returned my hard copy. But my notes for the paper are all there written in pencil in my book.

Years later my grandmother was in the hospital and it was a pretty difficult time for our family. My aunt, who was staying in the hospital with my grandmama, mentioned she wanted to re-read “Pride and Prejudice”. I thought that was so appropriate. Not only does the book help you take your mind off things but it also gives you a portrayal of really controlled and wise ladies. (Maybe Elinor from "Sense and Sensiblity" would be a better role model – but then again "Sense and Sensibility" is not as funny.).

So, even though it saddens me to think those people who pick up “Pride and Prejudice” might never really read “Sense and Sensibility” or “Persuasion” I get some satisfaction on the fact that they might have a pretty good time with it and perhaps some fond memories too.

What's the first Austen book you read? 

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