Books that will survive
There are hundred of millions of books in the world. In fact, according to Google (who actually counted them) there are 129,864,880 books in the world. That is a lot of books. More than anyone could read in many life times. But which of these books will actually survive? By survive i mean which books will stand the test of time and be remembered a hundred, two hundred years from now. There are the obvious ones that have already survived for decades: The Lord of the Rings, almost everything by Charles Dickens. But which recent books (the past decade or so) will come to be regarded as classics? Which books will still be read and in print for the foreseeable future?
It’s a tough question. But I’ve selected a few books that i think will survive. They are from the genres i read, so if you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment about which books you think will survive.
- The Harry Potter series. Some may say that this is an obvious choice, but i chose it, not because of its unprecedented sales (450 million copies sold, or thereabouts) but because of my own obsession with the books. J K Rowling created one of the most vividly, believable fantasy worlds in the history of books. Her world building skills are rivaled only by Tolkien, in my view. The books have a timeless quality to them: good old fashioned adventure, twinned with a twisty, turny plot and characters that step right off the page. I don’t doubt Potter will still be in print for hundreds of years to come.
- The Percy Jackson series. This is another of my favourite series, one that, just like Potter, i grew up with. Again, this series has had massive sales but that isn’t the reason i chose it. Rick Riordan took a subject that children weren’t that interested in and injected action, adventure and another awesome world to explore and encouraged millions of kids to read. It’s got to be a proud moment when a reader tell you that you encouraged them to read. If a reader told me that The Prophecy of Three got them into reading, it would be worth more than selling a million copies. Rick Riordan’s books will be read long into the future.
- Stephen King. It’s a broad choice this time round, but its hard to say which of Stephen King’s books will survive. Most notable, and my personal favorites, 11/22/63 and Under the Dome will endure – not least because of the terrific writing but also because they take simple concepts and create extraordinary novels out of them. I’ve read quite a bit of Stephen King and his writing is immediately identifiable.
- His Dark Materials. Whilst Phillip Pullman’s series may not be to everyone’s tastes, it did have an impact and, at one point, was selling faster than Potter. That is a feat in itself, but not the reason it made my list. Pullman created a vivid world in his trilogy and, the heavy religious aspects aside, delivered a stirring, old fashioned adventure told in a style reminiscent of Tolkien.
- Michael Crichton. Again, a broad choice, but it’s pretty touch to choose a single book by Crichton that will last longer than his others. Perhaps Jurassic Park and the Andromeda Strain for the sole reason that they impacted a generation profoundly. They took two seemingly impossible concepts and made them wholly believable. It made people ask the questions: what if this happened? What if dinosaurs could be brought back to life? Crichton also made this list for the simple fact that he wrote one of my favourite books of all time, Jurassic Park, which in turn was adapted in my favourite movie of all time.
- The Hunger Games. The success of Hunger Games is fast approaching Potter levels, particularly now with the release of the movies. But what makes me think this series will last is its concept. It’s easy to think that the plot of the Hunger Games could happen in our future. Collins fast paced narrative provides a gripping read and will no doubt be drawing readers for the considerable future.
This list could go on. I’ve selected just a few of the books and authors that i think will survive long into the future. It would be great to hear which books or authors you think will endure.