What makes a book a classic? This is something that has been on my mind for the past two days.Current and well known classics include novels by Charles Dickens, Janes Austen, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, George Orwell, and many others. These are novels that everyone has encountered whether they love to read for enjoyment or they were forced to read them in school for assignments. Considering how many novels are published each year, in print and some just online, will the qualifications that made the original classics classic be the same with some of today’s writings?
I honestly cannot say that I know right now at the top of my head any books that I would love to add to that list. I’m not saying that I haven’t read any breath taking, heart stopping, and life changing stories over the last several years. I’m just saying that if the same criteria is used to decide if a book is a classic, I don’t have any to add at the current moment. Of course that could change considering the amount of literature and novels that are put out each year. If the criteria is flexible in adding a book to the classics section of the bookstore or adding it to that tedious list handed out in almost every literature class, then there might be a few novels I would add to that list.
Something else that is newer is the amount of awards that a book can be considered for nomination and even winning. There are so many lists and awards (that continually add to my TBR list, lol) out here that it would be difficult to narrow those choices down to novels to add to the classics. Also, just like in centuries before there are books that have been for overlooked for awards and nominations due to the lack of popularity or prestige according to the people who judge these awards. Will these book be overlooked even if they have the said “criteria” of a classic?
Social media has taken the book community by storm, in my humble opinion. There are bloggers, bookstagramers, tweeters and probably more outlets that I am missing out on. Will this also have an effect on determining if a novel is a classic?
At the end of the day, I think sticking to the original criteria of judging if a book is a classic will work, but there will have to be some added factors.
What do you guys think? Happy reading folks, whether you’re reading “classic” material or not.