Favourite Book? Do You Have One or Many?
What makes a book a classic? Is it the timeless quality of the story, the style of writing, or does the story deal with a controversial subject? The answers to these questions are many and varied, and usually, there is no one answer.
This is one of my favourite classics. Written from the perspective of a child, the writing is timeless and the story was one that needed to be told. (Photo from Goodreads)
A recent classic is Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. This series has spawned a marketing phenomenon of books, movies, merchandise, shops dedicated to the story, Pottermore, and a Warner Bros studio tour in the UK. The books are read by children as well as adults and this is not an easy feat. Stories that relate to children and adults are rare.
To be a classic a story needs to stand the test of time as well as do a few other things.
Be relevant to multiple generations
Is artistically relevant
The age of the story
Merit in a literary sense
How popular the book is
The story's contribution to culture
Historical record and significance
Ultimately, it comes down to what you like reading. As an author, I enjoy reading many genres and this gives me insight into many different stories. It also helps me to improve as a writer. Reading the classics may be irrelevant to many, but I like to read (and sometimes re-read) a classic novel, they take me to another lifetime, and this I find fascinating.
Maria P Frino