With part of the proceeds of this novel, and the others in this series you are helping to support fighting AIDs and trying to eliminate it in Africa. So you can read one of the world's greatest masterpieces and support a charity at the same time.
Anna Karenina was originaly slated by critics in Russia when it first appeared, but since then has gone on to be acknowledged for the masterpiece it is, indeed some cite this as the perfect novel. Funnily enough I have only met one other person who has read this book, he was an English teacher that I met at a money raising event and he was enthusing greatly on this. I have personally read it many times and it always enthralls me, and I hope that if you read it you will feel the same. Admittedly it is quite a big story but the basic plot is about a love affair. To give anything more than this away would really spoil it for anyone coming to it for the first time. Taking in love, passion, double standards and hypocrisy this novel firmly sets itself in its time by Tolstoy including things that were of concern to the people then living, but despite that this is a story for all time and is ageless.
This can be considered as a crossover between realism and modernism in the novel, as well as incorporating stream of conciousness, and for that alone it would be considered important, but with its great storyline it transcends such things, that really are only of interest for those who study literature.