Most books published have a shelf life, so, even if titles are reprinted several times, they will eventually go out of print. A few books, however, have achieved the coveted status of always having been in print, from the moment they were first published.
Those titles are the true classics; works that have spoken to generation after generation. The time in which they were written differs vastly from today, but the themes they contain are timeless. These are but 5 of those esteemed works.
1. The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
First published in 1678, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was one of the first English novels. The story is an allegorical one, and follows main character Christian’s adventurous journey to the Celestial City at the summit of Mount Zion.
Along the way, Christian encounters various characters who attack him, try to discourage or hinder his journey, or offer him timely assistance. Most of the book was written while Bunyan was being held in Bedfordshire county gaol because of his religious beliefs.
2. Dracula – Bram Stoker
One of the most famous gothic novels ever published, Bram Stoker’s Dracula first hit the shelves in 1897. It has been translated into at least 29 different languages, and has inspired more than 200 movies.
The book, written in the form of diary entries and letters, tells the story of Jonathan Harker’s betrayal by the count in Transylvania, before Dracula travels to England to commit more horrors.
3. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
Captivating and compelling, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca was first published in 1938. It was an instant bestseller.
The novel centres on the newly-married Mrs de Winter, who had recently moved to Manderley with her husband Max. Unfortunately, she realised that getting married requires taking a chance, much like gambling online NZ. Things did not turn out quite the way she expected it to, thanks to the grim housekeeper, Mrs Danvers.
4. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand’s first truly successful publication, the Fountainhead, has been in print since it was first published in 1943. This followed its rejection by numerous publishers, who thought its content was not accessible enough to readers.
It tells the story of architect Howard Roark, and how he faced industry and client opposition to his creative building designs. Creativity and individualism are the central themes, which has sold more than 6.5 million copies around the world.
5. The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr
Ostensibly a children’s book, there is more to Judith Kerr’s the Tiger Who Came to Tea than meets the eye. The simple, beautifully-illustrated work tells the story of a tiger that arrived at little Sophie’s house at teatime one day, and proceeded to eat all but the girl and her family.
Judith is the daughter of Jewish intellectual Alfred Kerr, and, as a young girl, fled Germany with her mother and her brother on the day Hitler rose to power in 1933.
In 1936, they travelled to London, where they faced the horror of the Blitz. Despite the author’s protestations, other writers have suggested the story refers to the rise of the Nazi party.