There is something about the classics which make you want to read them. I mean, the world has evolved in a linear fashion, and hence to undetstand it fully you need to understand the past developments as well. There are so many contemporary books, movies, articles and everything else which borrows from historical works. This by itself doesn't mean they are superior to the current books. Its just that more people share the common history of past works, similar to say the qwerty keyboard system. It may not be the best one for current times, and yet the world share it.
Emma is hailed as one of the greatest works of Jane Austen, and that itself makes it one of the books to read. This is the second Jane Austen book I have read, the first one being Pride and Prejudice (though I read it ages back, and am sure didn't appreciate it much then). Emma is a story about a rich girl, living in english countryside and who has very few friends. Her life changes drastically after the marriages of her sister and caretaker, and she's left alone in her house with her father. The book in mainly about her quest to find new friend, and later to manipulate her love life the way she wants. Emma lives in a world of her own, and tries to control the life of a few people around her just for her amusement. There are very few characters in the book, and the pace of events is slow. Everything is presented in minute details, and adds to the beauty of the book. The story in the books move at a pretty slow pace, and its more about the nuances of each character and situations which makes this book a classic. Read it for the old world charm on a holiday.