I've found a couple of really great blog posts on some of the blogs that I follow that talk about reading classic novels and some of the challenges that come with them, as well as suggestions on how to tackle them, if you're trying to encourage yourself to read one. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) Desert Book Chick has a great posting on How to Read a Classic at her site. She was recently trying to motivate herself to read Anna Karenina (a GREAT book if you've never read it!).
2) Dead White Guys is putting together a series of articles on reading classics. The first one tackled becoming BFF's with the author; the 2nd talks about getting to know the author's intent. They are super funny and very enlightening.
3) Page Turners did a guest posting for Desert Book Chick on what defines a classic, and why we should read them.
Check these postings out. They are very encouraging and inspirational!