Arms and satchels full of books to spread out amongst the grass. Long dresses hiked up in hands and trousers with dirty knees. A sun to shine on your cheeks all day and a schedule empty but for the stories you’ll fill it with. Flowers to stick in your hair and your friends’. Giggles when the breeze and waving grasses tickle you. Racing over the hills when the twisting plots excite you to the point that you just need to move.
These pictures are what come to mind when I imagine the onset of spring, though the recent rain in the west coast keeps these from being a reality. Still, the nostalgia for the classics and the aesthetics of flowering fields persists.
There are a number of books that conjure these same feelings and encourage the innate human desire to find freedom, simplicity, childhood innocence, and a world that looks nothing near to our own. Many of them take place in centuries past or on beautiful properties that allow us to envision ourselves beside characters on picnic blankets taking part in the ritual of tea time. Though my relationship with them began in a rocky place–being forced to read them for literature classes isn’t the happiest beginning–I now enjoy a look back into the whimsy captured in these books. If you haven’t read them yet, perhaps the warming temperatures and the desire for a different kind of imaginative transportation is the perfect time to meet some of these well-beloved classics.
My Top Three Springtime Classics:
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
You can find these books in audio form, paperback, and hardback at well-known booksellers, small bookstores, and online. If you’re looking for a version that has spent time in another springtime field with another reader during its life, then check out a second-hand store and look for cracked spines and maybe a copy older than you! Right now, Barnes and Noble is offering a BOGO sale on their clothbound classics, which may indicate they are on their way off shelves.
Wherever you find your copy, I hope it inspires you to have your own frolic!