Booking Through Thursday — Lit-Ra-Chur

  • 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? – BTT

I think of classics (Tolstoy, Shakespeare, and more authors) and contemporary award winners. Books that won the Pulitzer, penned by Nobel Laureates, Booker prize winners, and other prestigious literary awards.

I looked literature up in two dictionaries, one of them says “writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.” and the second “written works, esp. those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit”. 

A friend and I had a similar conversation the other day and asserted that you can get that sense of universality or meaning from any written work that may not literary. It is true. It’s you who reads the book, not the book reads you. Having said that, I do read a lot of literature whatever it may be, but I know a lot of the books I read can last the test of time and be valued for their themes and artistic style.

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