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Try a Paperback Classic!

Lis a Lacivitia Bowman Reference Assistant

Lisa LaCivita

Bowman Reference Assistant
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If you are looking for something to read for the Adult Summer Reading Program, why not try a paperback classic? What makes a work of literature a classic? We may think of a classic book as one written by an author who has died, but there are contemporary classics by living authors, too. Classics are books that are well-written and hold up over time. They could be a first in a genre or have cultural importance.


Some titles you may remember from high school. Many of the authors’ names will be familiar. Some titles you will recognize as being the name of a movie (the book is usually better!) Paperback classics vary in size from a slender book you could read in one day (Lilies of the Field by William E. Barrett) to almost 1200 pages (Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.) I read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and was transported to a pre-colonial, African village. A place I could never have imagined or visited without this novel. Isn’t that the fun of a book; that a book can take you anywhere in the world, past, present, or future?


If you read one of these classics in high school, and enough time has passed, you may see it with fresh eyes. Some of the older titles may take a little time to get into, with a different writing style, but they are worth the effort to gain a window into the past. The paperback format makes these books relatively portable and lightweight. Maybe you will spot a title/author you have heard about but never had time to read? If the current bestseller you are waiting for is still on hold, then wander over to the paperback classics and take a look. Many of these stories are gems, awaiting your discovery.


With thanks to:

Lombardi, Esther. "What's the Difference Between Classical and Classic Literature?" ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021,