What makes a book a classic, you ask? Well, I don’t believe there’s a correct answer to that question. I’d say, classic books are books that you want to read again and again. You have probably read your favorite book many times. That will make that book a classic for you. However, “a classic piece of literature must be of high quality, at least for the time in which it was written.” as reported by ThoughtCo. in their article “The Definition of a Classic in Literature”.
In this article, we will focus on those books that become personal classics to its readers. These are my TOP 5 :
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel is one of the most translated books in the world. And if you have read it, you know why it’s number 1 on my must-read list. The beautiful story about a geographer whose plane crashes and who then encounters a young boy that he refers to as “the little Prince” deals with the realization that “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Reading this book really opens your eyes to what is important in life.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Not only is Jane Austen’s masterpiece still relevant in our century, there are several movie adaptions of the beloved book. The story about a young woman that stands up to society and people’s expectations and thus becomes one of the first female role-models definitely deserves to be on my “classic books that everyone should read“ list. The characters are well-written and have their flaws which makes them relatable. The love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy is indeed a great romance. Granted, their relationship doesn’t start out that way but that’s what makes the story even more authentic.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
Admit it- you have seen the movies, right? But did you read the books? No? Then you should get ready to browse your nearest library or bookshop and find a cosy spot to curl up with the book(s) and dive into the fantastical world that Tolkien created. I don’t really need to tell you what it’s about as I assume you already know- but I’m still going to sum it up. The “one ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them” is on everyone’s must-have list as it’s a dark artifact that consists of malevolent power (it can do more than only make you invisible) and was created by Sauron, who wants to win domination over Middle-Earth. To keep that from happening, Gandalf, the Grey, chooses a group of special people to look after Frodo, a peace-loving hobbit, who he entrusts with the ring. Frodo and his companions have to make their way to a place to destroy the ring. These epic fantasy books should be on everyone’s “to read list”.
A wrinkle in time by Madeleine L’Engle
With the movie coming out this March, you don’t have much time left to read the book. It’s the story of a young girl, Meg Murry, who travels through time and space to look for her father. On her adventure, she’s accompanied by her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin. They encounter magical beings that help them find Meg and Chales’ father, a gifted scientist, who has been missing for years, and throughout the book, the kids learn that their otherness is what makes them special. I love the characters’ development. It’s a great story about love and never giving up. Check it out! (PS. Judging by the movie trailer, it’s going to be a magical movie with an amazing cast, so we should definitely watch it!)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Another book that was initially meant to be children’s literature but is actually so much more. I feel like you are never too old to read J.K. Rowling’s magical story about a young boy who is confronted with the loss of his parents at a very young age and only learns about his magical inheritance at his eleventh birthday when he gets his acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Harry Potter series has wonderfully- written characters and is all about friendship and open-mindedness. I read it when I was twelve so it kind of felt like I was growing up with the characters. I am sure you have already seen the movies by now but I strongly recommend reading the books, too, as there are still some things that didn’t make it into the movies.
Bonus Round 😉
Here are two of my favorite books which I also consider to be classic books, plus the quotes are definitely something to live by:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – “Maybe okay will be our always.”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – “We accept the love we think we deserve.“
I’m sure you have some awesome classic books recommendations, so please feel free to add them in the comments.