- When somebody mentions “literature,” what’s the first thing you think of? (Dickens? Tolstoy? Shakespeare?)
- Do you read “literature” (however you define it) for pleasure? Or is it something that you read only when you must?
Now, I read a variety of things but don't really think about if they are literature or not. For example, I love many of the novels of Margaret Atwood and Isabel Allende. I would consider them literature because they are extremely well-written and deal with universal themes through amazing character and plot development. I also enjoy books by Janet Evanovich and Marcia Muller. Would I classify those as literature? I'm really not sure. For me, literature is so well-written that it helps to define something about the human condition. I really believe many of our current authors, including Cormac McCarthy and Margaret Atwood, will continued to be called literature in 100 years.
I've read my share of "literature" during college. I would be surprised if anyone read The Inferno or Moby Dick for pleasure. I don't pick books because they are, or aren't, literary. I read books that entertain me. Sometimes I tend to read more serious, well-written stories, and other times I select more light-hearted fare. There are many works of literature that are among my favorite books, including To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath. I think The Book Thief can easily join that list for its quality and humanity.
I'm very interested in what other people are saying about this one. Feel free to chime in and let me know what you think.