Welcome to the Classic of the Month— an ongoing series dedicated to putting the right classic into the hands of the right reader! This month, we’re looking at a really big book–in fact, most editions are about 800 pages! If that’s not enough to scare you away, keep reading, and see if this month’s book selection is the right fit for you!

Book of the Month

Don Quixote (1605) by Miguel de Cervantes

Opening Words

In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a greyhound for coursing. An olla of rather more beef than mutton, a salad on most nights, scraps on Saturdays, lentils on Fridays, and a pigeon or so extra on Sundays, made away with three-quarters of his income. The rest of it went in a doublet of fine cloth and velvet breeches and shoes to match for holidays, while on weekdays he made a brave figure in his best homespun.

Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes

What’s it all About?

Alonso Quixano is a rich landowner who spends so much of his time reading books about knights and adventures that he barely has time to sleep. And as a result, his brains dry up and he tumbles headfirst into one of the strangest delusions imaginable–believing that he is a knight and that the ordinary, everyday people, places, and things around him are monsters, castles, and kings. From the famous windmill-turned-giant to believing that a shaving basin is in fact a golden helmet, Alonso, calling himself Don Quixote, lives out his fantasy to the fullest, even convincing his na├»ve neighbor, Sancho Panza, into being his squire Throughout the story (which was originally published in two volumes, hence the hulking size), Cervantes explores themes of doubt and belief, the nature of reality, friendship, and whether or not his titular hero is actually mad or sane.

Read this if you Enjoy…

  • Stories of knights, squires, and fair damsels
  • Humorous adventure stories
  • Heroes with a strong sense of mortality

Interested? Check it out Here!

[Book] [Hoopla] [Overdrive]

[Hoopla Audiobook] [Overdrive Audiobook]

Final Thoughts

Don Quixote is one of my grandpa’s favorite stories, and as a result, that interest has trickled down to me. In addition to a beautiful hardback copy from his personal collection sitting on my shelf, I also have a lovely set of hand-carved figures that he got in Spain on display in my room. This classic tale of adventure, the absurdity of fantasy, and the ultimate dignity of all the characters is a beautiful, funny, and deeply poignant tale of dreamers in a world that no longer has the time or the romantic inclination to dream.

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.