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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 29 April 2010

BTT: Restrictions

God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.
What genre do you pick, and why?
*Whether you believe in God or not, pretend for the purposes of this discussion that He is real.

At first this looked like a really tough one to answer, because I like all kinds of books. However, looking at the examples listed above... No doubt in my mind - I'd choose Classics, feeling quite confident God would have to smile and approve. Even the Bible includes more than one genre of literature! History, politics, romance, adventure, mystery, poetry; even science-fiction or fantasy (in the form of apocalyptic prophecy)...

Definition of "classic" from  :

So, what is a "classic"--in the context of books and literature?
  • A classic usually expresses some artistic quality--an expression of life, truth, and beauty.
  • A classic stands the test of time. The work is usually considered to be a representation of the period in which it was written; and the work merits lasting recognition. In other words, if the book was published in the recent past, the work is not a classic.*
  • A classic has a certain universal appeal. Great works of literature touch us to our very core beings--partly because they integrate themes that are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience. Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses.
  • A classic makes connections. You can study a classic and discover influences from other writers and other great works of literature. Of course, this is partly related to the universal appeal of a classic. But, the classic also is informed by the history of ideas and literature--whether unconsciously or specifically worked into the plot of the text.
* Actually in many people's opinion, and in mine as well, it is possible to regard certain books as "modern classics" on the basis of a fair evaluation of criteria which seem likely to make them "last" and be remembered as classics in the future.  

PS. I do hope other people will make other choices though, including New Books; or else there will be no new additions to the Classics list in the future. Which would be a shame, really!



Wanda said...

Not a bad choice at all, especially when you consider the possabilities!

My BTT is here.

reJoyce said...

Well thought out! I just got all upset about the idea instead of trying to figure out the best way to handle it!

Carina said...

Good choice! Mine is here.

Rose City Reader said...

Good answer! I almost went with "classics" myself, but worried that I would have to spend eternity reading Henry James. :)

Glad I found your blog!

Here is my BTT answer on Rose City Reader.

Nithin said...

This is definitely a tough one, and I still haven't been able to choose any one genre. Classics seems like a good choice, though. :)

Ginny said...

Classics is a great choice. But does the bible count? If it does, then I have already chosen the category, haven't I? So that would be Christian non-fiction. But I'm awfully tempted to say cookbooks!

young-ecletic-encounters said...

I to would have a hard time choosing but I think your choice of classics is a good one as it covers the best of the rest.


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