This week, I am participating in a blog hop with some of my favorite ladies... Terri G. Long, Christine Nolfi, Molly Greene, and the snarkiest one of them all :), Rachel Thompson.
The theme for this hop is New Classic Reads and the question was:
What makes a new classic read?
As I have been pondering this...and I have been pondering it, I noticed that Terri, in a blog post, referred to an educator and philosopher by the name of Mortimer Adler. Adler identified that classic reads must meet 3 criteria:
- Contemporary Significance
- Inexhaustibility-can it be read multiple times?
Although, I have loved some of the traditional "classic" reads, I have to be honest and say that there are some that I have scratched my head questioning why they were classics. After getting really tired of being in the middle or on the receiving end of countless debates on literature quality, I found that this applied to contemporary literature, as well. I ended up coining a term "Like beauty, a book is in the eye of the beholder." It was then that I personally chose to throw the whole concept of classic reads, as a whole, out the window and make it more...
What is a classic read TO ME?
I read a lot of books. Anyone who knows me, knows that about me. Most of the books I read, I must be honest and say are finished and out of my mind. I can give a short synopsis, some not even this, of the book, but that is the extent. There are a small amount of books that pierce my memory and stick like superglue. There are some characteristics that I have found regarding what makes a classic read to me:
- Character development: How do I connect with the characters? Do I love them or despise them?
- Setting: Do I get lost in the location? Does the author paint the setting like I am looking at a picture? Do I feel like I am looking through a looking glass at what is occurring within the book...almost to the point of voyeurism.
- Emotions: How does the book make me feel? Do I have a visceral reaction either good or bad? Do I get scared? Does the book make me cry or make me overjoyed? Do I have a plethora of emotions whipping around my head and heart while reading a book?
- Do I remember it for more than 6 months? A year? 10 years? 30 years? Believe it or not, there are lines of My Antonia by Willa Cather and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte that I remember line for line. When I think of the book Ghost House by Clair McNally, which I read when I was 13, I still get creeped out.
I have enjoyed this exercise in what makes a classic read for me. What makes a classic read for you?