Definition of a classic book:
A classic is a book accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy, for example through an imprimatur such as being listed in a list of great books, or through a reader’s personal opinion. … A “canon” refers to a list of books considered to be “essential” and is presented in a variety of ways.
What follows are some factors for what makes a classic:
-Addresses universal human concerns
-Shifts people’s views on life
-Influences subsequent works
-Merit, which is continually respected and examined by experts and critics throughout the years
When I worked as a cataloguer for a public library, there was much debate as to what could be considered ‘classic‘ fiction. Some argued that only books that have been around for hundreds of years (Dickens, Austen, Dostoyevsky, the Bronte sisters, etc.) were true classics. Others argued that more modern works such as “The Great Gatsby” and the works of Agatha Christie could be considered ‘classics’.
Some say the cut-off is 1950. Those classics that were published before 1950 are true ‘classics’, while those books published after 1950 should be considered ‘modern’ classics.
In my personal opinion, classic novels are ones that have the ability to endure over a long span of time. Ones that contain an important message, or that have a universal appeal for some reason despite the fact that they were published years ago – without stipulating how many years. A book that outlasts the time period in which it was written.
Now, for my personal choice of 10 books who have the potential to be future classics:
“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak
“The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro
“A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
“Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine” by Gail Honeyman
“The Binding” by Bridget Collins
“The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton
“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
“The Sewing Machine” by Natalie Fergie
“Tin Man” by Sarah Winman
I’ve read all ten of the above books and although I didn’t give them all a five-star rating, I did feel that they had merit and were memorable enough to be in this list.
Have you read any of these? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
I wish to thank the Orangutan Librarian who graciously let me borrow this idea for a post.