Once The Establishment insisted I read a book where the dog dies, I seriously questioned anything they considered "a classic." When they did it to me twice and followed up with a dead mouse chaser, I became that kid in school. The one who could talk "around" the book without having read the book. Yes, it was back in the pre-internet dark ages. Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies, never read them. Beowulf didn't happen either. Don Quixote, Moby Dick, and Call of the Wild...I read the comic book versions. What? Classics Illustrated comics saved my sanity and gave me the time to read the books I actually wanted to read (Hello Victoria Holt, Agatha Christie, and Morgan Llywelyn).
Never fear, I atoned for my sins by getting a Bachelor's in English. Aka, The Sexton, Plath, and Woolf Will Haunt You Forever degree.