There will necessarily be changes to the list of classics from time to time, and doubtless many factors must contribute to making a book a 'classic', but we should be able to come up with a rigorous definition that will endure. To do that, we need to understand what we're even trying to accomplish by categorizing something as 'classic.'
Reflections on the Performative Nature of Language
When we consider the organic and evolving nature of language, it becomes clear that the medium in which we as writers work is at once both a static means of information storage, and a dynamic, independent artform allowing the author to engage in a unique interaction with each reader.
None of those advantages have changed, but I've recently reached a position where the possibility of having bookshelves again is more viable, and I've been thinking about what kinds of books would be on those shelves. Mostly, my physical book collection consists of nonfiction tomes, and books from my childhood. Contemplating this, I've been thinking how nice it would be to have some of the books that I've read on Kindle, the ones I've really enjoyed or reference/re-read very frequently, as "real" books. Yet buying duplicate books seems terribly inefficient.
I have made it a policy here on the site not to post reviews for books that I read in the past. That is, while there are many books that I read before starting this site and before starting weekly reviews on the site, I only intend to post reviews for those books if I actually sit down and re-read them. In some cases, like for books that are a part of ongoing series, that means that reviews for the older books will likely be posted eventually as I re-read to get caught up for a new release (like we did for the Stormlight Archive books). There are a lot of books that I would like to add to the review collection that I've already read, but with a reading list as long as mine is, it is increasingly challenging to justify spending too much of my time re-reading books.
Despite the fact that I run a website, and encourage people to share said website on social media platforms and with their friends, families, and enemies, I personally live under a bit of a digital rock. Though that's really an understatement - it's probably a digital boulder - but I couldn't resist putting in that subtle "bit" pun. Even though I know that engaging on social media is among the best ways for me to continue growing the audience for IGC Publishing, I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.
It Adds Up
Today, we’re going to talk about math. No, don’t stop reading: for one thing, I only said that we’re going to talk about math, not that we’re going to do math, and for another, the whole point of this post is to talk about why it’s important not to allow our own perceptions of our abilities to interfere with our actual capabilities. This post in some ways is a follow-on to my post about the importance of reading, and really both of them could be lumped under the topic of education, but I’m not trying to propose a restructuring of the education system here. Reading and writing, to me, is about conveying information, and math is just another way of doing that. However it is done, mathematically or through words, it’s important that as many of us as possible understand both how to create and consume that information.
I admit, this post is a little self-serving. It benefits me if you read more, and if more people read; I am an author, after all. It also might be ineffectual; if you're on this site, reading this blog post, you're probably already a reader, and I don't need to convince you of the benefits and importance of continuing to read - you'll do that, anyway. However, this is not just a creative ploy to present a moralistic argument for why you should really go read more Blood Magic (although you absolutely should do that). Every now and then, I'll be telling a friend about a great book that I just read, or I'll recommend a book, or I'll be telling someone about my own most recent writing efforts, and their response will be something along the lines of "I try not to read anything more complicated than The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
Well, I've finished my read-through of the first Fo'Fonas novel (current working title is At the Top of the World). I've made extensive notes, and will be combining my own notes and changes with the feedback I get from my various test readers to inform my revision process. Some of the major changes that I'm currently tracking are