Classic books. Who decides which books are classics and how do they decide?

@nannacroc (4049)
July 9, 2012 4:59pm CST
I am an avid reader but have not read a lot of books which have the 'classic' label. I've tried to read some 'classics' and found them hard going. Is there a book you think should be a 'classic' which isn't?
4 people like this
5 responses
@AmbiePam (50256)
• United States
13 Jul 12
It seems like a book to be termed a classic they have to make a social or political statement. Of course I'm not talking about Wizard of Oz. More like Tom Sawyer or Uncle Tom's Cabin. I read the Great Gatsby for the first time a couple years ago and decided 'depressing' could also be a way for a book to become a classic!
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@nannacroc (4049)
14 Jul 12
Judging by some of the classics I've tried to read, I have to agree. So many are depressing and difficult to read.
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@AmbiePam (50256)
• United States
14 Jul 12
It's like no classic, besides a children's story of course, can end happily.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
10 Jul 12
I am not sure what the definition of classic is when it comes to reading matter. Neither am I very sure that it matters very much. I think that books that are used as a text for exams, Shakespeare, Dickens etc are often regarded as classic simply because they are a. Old, and b. they were written by people who were more prolific and remembered than other contemporary writers. I also think that there is a great deal of snob value to certain books. I'm not certain that I can think of a book that I feel is a classic. Something that ought to be read by everyone. We live in era where everyone seems to write a book, but I suspect relatively few buy serious books. Perhaps it is time that Nanna wrote a classic!
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@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jul 12
Nanna hasn't got the imagination or patience to write a classic. There a also too few people who would understand me. Having recently read 'To Kill a Mocking Bird' and 'Catcher in the Rye', I started wondering who decides on 'classic' status. The former I understand, I enjoyed it, it was well written and thought provoking. The latter I found boring and pointless. That is just my opinion, others may feel differently, I'm not getting into a 'taste' argument.
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@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
10 Jul 12
Hi there Nannacroc I was only thinking of you last Night and wondering how you are doing and here you are I love reading but have never been tempted by classics Books I like books that have a story in them I like writers like Rosie Goodwin Susan Lewis and that
@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jul 12
Good to see you too, gabs. I've met Rosie Goodwin but her books aren't my cup of tea. I read a lot and the books vary depending on my mood. Anything from 'Alice in Wonderland' to 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'. Thanks for your comment, hope you're keeping well. Take care.
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@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jul 12
Well done on the quitting. I've not managed yet but do smoke a lot less. I'm doing well. Didn't realise how long it took to get back to normal after a stroke. I just feel lucky I will eventually be able to get back to normal. Take care and keep up the good work.
@Suescott (29)
• United States
20 Jul 12
I think Classics are books that are as relevent in 2012 as they were in 1812 or 1912. Times and trends change, but people's emotions are the same. Look at how many Jane Austen books are made into TV series or movies. Romance, marriage, courtship, love, hate, jealousy, revenge, melancholia, joy, boredom are all subjects that are endlessly fascinating to readers. When a writer makes an emotional connection with the reader through the characters. To me, that is a classic.
@nannacroc (4049)
20 Jul 12
Welcome to MyLot. Thank you for an interesting response. That makes sense, peoples emotions remain the same whatever the century. Hope you enjoy posting.
@pumpkinjam (5800)
• United Kingdom
10 Jul 12
Reading lists of "classic" books does make me wonder how they have come to be classics, especially when these lists include books of which I have never heard. I think a classic book is one which is famous i.e. something which you could mention to anyone and at least 90% of them would say they had at least heard of it with at least half of them having read it. I also think that, to be a "classic", a book should be at least 10 years old. I don't understand how a newly released book can be called a classic. Perhaps a classic book should not only have been read by a lot of people but also have been enjoyed by the majority of them. I think there are times when some people think that a classic book shouldn't be a classic because they haven't enjoyed it but then a lot of other people might have thought it really good. I think that the Harry Potter series *will* be classics because they are enjoyed by a lot of people. Those who grew up with them still enjoy them but so do other generations. Like Doctor Who. That's classic because it's enjoyed by a lot of people, it's old and, even though it has been reinvented, is still good and appealing to more than one group of people. I think that's another thing with classics. They have to appeal to different types of people and they have to be "timeless". Like, if I read and enjoy Harry Potter or Doctor Who, then my children read and enjoy them and still enjoy them when they are grown up.
@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jul 12
You could be right. I don't think there are many Sci-fi 'classics. As you know, I just like books and have only recently decided to read some 'classics'. I've enjoyed a couple of them and struggled with others. It seems it's a matter of opinion, I just wondered whose opinion.
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