What Makes a Classic a "Classic"?

Have you ever read a classic book and not found it to be AMAZING? I have done this many times. The only time I have ever read a classic and LOVED it to pieces was when I read Anne Frank in fifth grade. As I have changed a lot since then, I don't know if I would enjoy it or love it as much as I did the first time I read. I recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and, honestly, I enjoyed Throne of Glass more. 

This brings me to the question, What makes a classic a "classic"? I have read many classics, and they all just seemed okay to me. I think that a "classic" in the world's eyes is a really old book that people really liked when it came out. Or, maybe a "classic" is an old book that has lots of "depth". To me, a "classic" is a book that has good, deep writing and great characters that aren't shallow. A "classic" to me also has a real good meaning that is relevant for many, many years. 

A "classic" shouldn't have pop culture references every other page, because then it wouldn't be relevant to people of the future. Saying that, I think "classics" in the world's eyes are not really classics. You can tell what era they were written in and that makes their message less relevant. A classic is timeless. A classic can test the wear of time. In my book, many of the world's "classics" are merely older books. 

Older Classics- Books that have already gone through the test of time, and are still relevant today 

  • The Diary of Anne Frank By Anne Frank This tale is a sad, heartbreaking one, but it shows you reality and it shows you the human spirit. Also, as Anne was a teenager when writing this, it is very relatable to me, which in my book makes it even more of a "classic". 
  • Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury As I mentioned above, I enjoyed Throne of Glass more than this book, but this book foresees itself into the future. It shows the evil of censorship and what the government can do to our lives with a little bit too much control. 

Modern Classic- A book that has not yet seen the test of time, but has little to no pop culture references to decrease from its relatability in the future, and it has already been enjoyed by many today 


  • Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling Harry Potter is about magic, and has almost no pop culture references, as no technology works at Hogwarts. Harry Potter has magical writing, great, dynamic characters, and has a unique, un-heard-of plot line. 
  • Wonder By R.J. Palacio Wonder is an amazing story about finding yourself, and "not judging a book by its cover". Wonder has a great message behind it that everyone needs to apply to their lives and how they treat others. This book is set in modern-day, and you can tell, but I still think that this is a modern classic. 
  • The Book Thief By Markus Zusak The Book Thief is not only unique in its premise, but how it is carried out. This book takes place in Nazi, Germany during WWII and is narrated by death. This book has not beautiful writing, but poetic writing. The characters are so unique and cannot be defined by "character types". The overall plot has an idea you think would be slow, but how Zusak carries it out, it is super fast paced. 
Indie Classic- A classic book that is not popular, but I consider a classic to the other criteria 


  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Anne Brashares I love this trilogy so much. (shhh... it's really a quartet, but I like how the third book ended so I didn't read the last one.) It has beautiful writing, strong dynamic characters (apparently I'm Carmen, according to this Buzzfeed quiz I took) , and a great focus on friendship. I have never read a book with such great friendships. 
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys This book is so heartbreaking. I had never read about the Siberian war camps before this book, and this book both informed me about them, and showed the hardships to me as if I was actually there. The charters in this book can be both adorable and sinister. I also love how the families stick together even in times of toil. 
So, what do you guys think about "classics"? What are some of your favorite classics? Are there any classic you think I should read? Tell me all of it in the comments below. 


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