Why Certain Books are Fondly Revered While Others Discarded
I have tracked every book I’ve finished reading since 1993.
The idea just popped into my head one day in middle school. I recorded the first year of books on a Brother word processor.
I remember sharing my “project” with a teacher in high school. She said she wished she’d kept a book log, too.
The regrets of the aged are often good indicators of what the young should (or shouldn’t) be doing. And so I kept going (not that I had planned to stop).
It’s been 20 years since I began tracking the books I read, and as I review my early logs, it becomes apparent why “classics” are classic. They are, generally speaking, the ones I remember most vividly.
So while I can’t provide any kind of objective measure for what makes a classic classic, I can make the argument that books that stand the test of time are those that are remembered best by a large number of people.
One reason I’ve never attempted to publish a book is because if I publish something I want it to be genuinely good. Not just something that sells, but something that has at least a small chance of enduring.
Anyway, I have put away my pride and will soon be releasing my first Kindle book. It will most certainly never be a classic, but I hope it will be useful.
More details soon.
-Ryan M. Healy