Great Books Week 2010- Tuesdays Topic:
What makes a book great?
As with most things, the criteria for the greatness of a book can mean different things to different people. Some apply the classics standard; do they reach or come close to reaching the lofty standards of ‘the greats’ … whomever your list of “greats’ include. Some include a checklist of style points, as if greatness can be achieved in recipe fashion, by merely following a set formula. Would that it were that easy…
For me, a great book has at least some of the above-mentioned components, but it must also have that one elusive element that may be singular to me. The story must touch me. I have to feel the characters as real people. Their story should be important to me, compelling me to feel some emotional investment in what they feel, think and experience. If I am moved by what the author has created then the memory of what I experienced between those pages will be as real as an actual memory for me. The characters within the pages of that book will be old friends I can recall with fondness. What better criteria for greatness?