I love books. I read many books, and I've gone out of my way to read some of the more popular classics. I read Uncle Tom's Cabin and Tom Sawyer in Jr. High, I intentionally read Shakespeare, and when I finish the handful of books in my "to read" pile, I plan on tackling Pride and Prejudice. Why do I do this? Is it because the books are so great? Are they "must reads?"
I have two answers to those questions, and those answers vary from book to book. One, I read them because I like to learn from books that were written in the past. I think reading older styles of writing is a great way to hone and shape my own craft. However, I would not say every classic is great in their own right. Uncle Tom's Cabin, Tom Sawyer, and much of Shakespeare's work are great reads, but man of the books that are considered "must reads" are just badly written when compared to modern authors.
I saw Citizen Kane a few years ago and walked away with the conclusion that it was the most boring movie I've ever seen... and I've seen MANY movies. Yes, it used some revolutionary techniques that changed the face of the filming industry forever, but that doesn't mean it's a great movie. I do think, however, that anyone interested in learning about filming should be required to watch it. It's the same with classic books. You don't have to read all of them, but pick out a few, learn from them, and use what you learn to shape your own style.