Just a thought, but some of us, for example, me, immediately find any book that is required reading incredibly dull. In High School, just for fun, I read Le Morte D'Arthur by Thomas Mallory. So you would think that when I got to college and took a course in Arthurian Literature (both for fun and to continue my then intended pursuit of a career in Medieval Studies) and had to read it for class, I found it almost impossible to pick up. I am sure if I picked the book up again now, I would probably go through it like a hot knife through butter.
Actually, I am thinking about reading a number of these old classics now that 1. I don't have to, and 2. I can appreciate them more.
BTW, this thread reminds me a little of an advertising campaign that the Baltimore Opera did a few years back...
"Opera, it's better than you think, it has to be!"