Originally Posted by DiapDealer
You've casually mentioned something that I've been waiting to address. I truly believe (and maybe not in your particular case, or all others participating in the thread) that the above sentiment(?) is often times the driving force behind adults looking back and discussing—or writing articles about—"how badly the books sucked that they made us read in school"—how it "almost made me hate reading."
It's not so much a matter of "I'm concerned for the education of our young people, who struggle mightily with these antiquated texts" as it is "why aren't the books I like ever elevated to "Classic" or "Literature" status?"
Many people (again, I'm making no direct accusations here) have a weird obsession with wanting the academic world to acknowledge the literary value of their favorite books. They seem to need the world to recognize their personal favorites as "Classics." As if their love for the book(s) is somehow slightly tainted and can only be made shiny and justified by having young people the world over use them in an academic setting.
I count my blessings that I was never forced to study/analyze the kinds of books I would normally rush home and read for pleasure in my youth. I couldn't imagine a worse form of torture, actually.
Hmm. For myself I can say that I would never expect my favorites to be classics. But I think it's fairly clear that I like escapist reading for the most part. That doesn't mean I don't VALUE and even ENJOY some of the classics. I happen to think that Old Yeller is one that was very well done. In non fiction, the Diary of Anne Frank and Hellen Keller ( I read these because mom recommended them--they were not school requirements). I also liked Mark Twain works and some of those are classics. I liked Pride and Prejudice. Although with Pride and Prejudice, I still am not entirely sure it should be considered a classic. Many classics to me seem arbitrary --right time and place, certain notice given for whatever reason. Faulkner, for example, still leaves a giant, "Huh?" on my forehead. Poe--yeah, I get why he's classic, but I still don't like his work.
I can read these things analytically and completely understand why Dresden will never be a classic. Nor does it necessarily have a lot to teach when it comes to culture--yet, yet, Frankenstein, which was probably UF of the time and Dracula...those are classics. So...yanno. There's a rather blurry line.
As for my personal reading, I've never cared if anyone even knew WHAT I was reading. I certainly don't care overmuch about what they THINK of the book and I don't need it to be recognized on any academic level.
I love talking books. And that's why I come here. But it doesn't really matter whether anyone agrees with my reading choices. It's just a discussion and interesting to see the various viewpoints.