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 About.com :
So, what is a "classic"--in the context of books and literature?* 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.
- 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.
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!