All the writers I admire talk about reading the classics. You have to read the classics. So, I'm asking all of you out there. Have you read the classics? Which ones? I'm talking about Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dickens, etc. Is it really all that important to read these guys to become a good writer? I've read Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and a couple others. I like the books written in the late 1800's and early 1900's but anything older than that I just don't get. I've tried reading Plato's Republic and John Milton's Paradise Lost. It just wasn't happening for me. I've read a shit load of science fiction and horror classics though.