I think I was surprised to be transitioning from no-brainer teen romance novels to some stuff that would look impressive if I throw them around and actually begin liking those impressive works. It can’t get any more impressive than Mr. Shakespeare. The fact that they’re hard to understand accounts for 90% of the impressiveness. Discussing Shakespeare may be either an eye-opener or an exercise in futility. (As a side note, I have a good friend who, when we were in freshmen at the uni, bought a paperback Hamlet. She would carry it with her every time she goes to the bank — I never found out why it was only on her trips to the bank that she carried the book — but she never actually read it. She said she did it because she felt/seemed intelligent doing so. That’s the impressiveness of Shakespeare for you.)
Despite my lack of experience in reading complicated materials, I set my eyes on Shakespeare because I thought very highly of myself. (I still do.) My first Shakespeare is The Taming of the Shrew (I’ve read a comic-book version of Romeo and Juliet prior to reading it, though), which is probably the reason it’s on my list. We remember most of our firsts.
I don’t recall why I chose this one but it might have been the natural progression from romance novels. Admittedly, Shakespeare is a labyrinthine journey toward what we Filipinos would call “kilig,” but that and the aforementioned intellectual impressiveness come together for some cerebral and visceral satisfaction. (Is that not a very good reason to read?)
Being my first experience of Will, it will always be a memorable one for me. I still like Shakespeare and have since read a bit more of him (including Cliffs Notes) and watched some of their manifestation/interpretation in the movies and on stage.
P.S. I realise just now that my posts about my favourite books are only about my experience in acquiring and/or reading them, and not really about the book itself. I think that, in truth, we read the same book in individually distinctive ways, and consequently, it is as if we are imbibing different ideas in the same work.
Either that, or I’m not trying hard enough.