I'm noticing a genre of books cropping up from the likes of Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom - books I've affectionately titled emotional masturbation.
Emotional Masturbatory books are typically brief in length, simple to read, and have an uncomplicated plot that leaves the reader feeling like nothing has escaped them. The only goal of the author is to stimulate the reader's emotions into some form of release; lulling the reader into empathy. When one dissects the book, however, it is found to be a superficial story with no real value other than to reaffirm the reader's own sense of humanity. People can invest so much feeling into these books, but they don't glean anything that could transform them.
Now, I'm very young. Is this all in my head?
And who am I to decide what qualifies as literature or not? Do you think that time turns these "emotional masturbatory" novels into the stuff of Classics? What do you think the qualifying factors are for a Classic, anyway?