Though I love to read stories, novels & essays written in English, either by any British or American author or not, I find it quite painful to read through classic novels & stories. The reasons are as follows:
1. Too lengthy description of beauty, filth, feelings & emotions. Very monotonous. It seems as if someone is testing my patience. It becomes very difficult to remember what I just read.
2. Long sentences, sometimes two or more sentences are joined together to give it a complex meaning. It becomes quite difficult follow such sentences.
3. Extravagant vocabulary. How may times can one consult dictionary while reading something?
4. Very complex outlook towards life. I am used to with simpler outlook.
These points are true not only for British/American classic writings but also for classic writings in other European & Asian languages.
So far I hve failed to keep patience & hence failed to finish "Crime and Punishment", "War and Peace", "Picture of Dorian Gray", "Count of Monte Cristo" etc.
But I really don't want to miss these great writings.
Only consult a dictionary if really necessary. I think many readers skip the deceptive bits and get back to the tale- I can happily skip most descriptions of sunsets.