About "light-hearted" books: I believe Mark Twain's work is still in print; also Jerome K. Jerome, S. J. Perelman and even Robert Benchley pop up now and again; James Thurber has a Library of America volume (Twain does, too). And I think Alexander Pope is still taught in universities.
Dan Brown yes, but just because you're too cool for Harry Potter doesn't make it historically negligible. Like it or not, HP is for this generation what Star Wars and Disney were to generations before. Harry Potter isn't going anywhere and is likely to outlast literally every single author/work listed on this entire message board not named JRR Tolkien. How did Homer and Shakespeare survive? They were so popular there were copies of their work all over the place. Nobody's going to come across a copy of Revelation Space or Mistborn in 50 years. But you're still going to see original Harry Potters...All the Pratchett books (not just Discworld) are much better IMO than some fiction that has endured.
It will outlast Dan Brown and Harry Potter.
I was being slightly facetious here, but I was thinking specifically of books by Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith and a criticism made by B.R. Myers that literary fiction had a tendency to be about the world of liberal intellectual readers of literary fiction. At any rate, the campus comment was an exaggeration and doesn’t really mean much. I'd edit it out now if I could.
However, the point I would make is that Pratchett’s books “don’t count” because they don’t explore issues in a direct and obvious way (although it’s usually pretty clear what Pratchett is saying). Also, Pratchett’s touch tends to be light and his outlook rather wry, as opposed to the earnest realism that one might expect from an “issues” book. I think people associate “issues” with “gritty”, and hence Pratchett’s work runs the risk of being seen as light jolly fluff even when it has a bit more weight behind it.
No offense, but having seen your posts here I suspect your children and grandchildren have much better examples for challenging and inspiring reading than most children do In the same sense that me reading Grisham novels in 4th grade was very odd to most people but since my dad was a lawyer and both my parents were heavily involved in politics it makes sense that I wound up reading a bit off the beaten path. I agree most of those authors will fade (I honestly think Dan Brown benefited from Harry Potter in that the Da Vinci Code was a perfect pot-boiler released shortly after HP reminded adults of how fun leisure reading could be), but I don't think HP is one of them. As you point out, they don't show up in secondhand shops like the others, and I think it's not just that people are holding onto them, but that they're planning to give/read them to their own kids eventually, the way my aunt turned me on to Lord of the Rings. I know I am.I've read all the Harry Potter, I quite liked it. I suspect copies of HP and Dan Brown will be common.
If my grand children are keen on HP, perhaps you are right. So far the eldest has read a shelf of Enid Blyton (Adventure Series, Famous Five, Finder Outers etc) and all the the Oz books, but not yet HP.
Huge numbers of Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson, Cecilia Aherne etc in the Charity shops ... Much more than Harry Potter, so perhaps a good sign for HP that people holding on to them.
It would be interesting to compare quantity sold vs quantity in charity shops of books published 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 years ago.
|Thread starter||Similar threads||Forum||Replies||Date|
|The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett||Reviews & Interviews||26|
|Terry Pratchett's Discworld Reading-Order Flowchart||Terry Pratchett||3|
|Terry Pratchett's Discworld will get even more adaptations thanks to massive new deal||General TV Discussion||7|
|The Watch - Discworld TV series - new||General TV Discussion||86|
|Am I losing my love of Discworld?||Terry Pratchett||23|