I don't understand the debates over the merits of books. Not any of them. I don't understand literary vs. commercial fiction, realism vs. speculative, in original language vs. translation, paper vs. digital. All I understand is the power of the story.
The political thriller you found on a bench that got you through the six-hour bus ride in the middle of the night so you could visit your brother after his accident.
The romance paperback that you read over and over after a breakup until you could breathe again.
The children's tale of dogs and death that silenced the house raging around you.
The book that taught you about international finance and the importance of the gold standard while you recovered from a broken leg (that was a romance, btw).
Some books contain language so sweet you have to whisper aloud while reading. Some books launch a thousand copycats, and others disappear, leaving behind only a few hundred copies. And some stories will transport you out of the worst days of your lives.
What's worth more, classic you never read or the ratty little book that changed your life?