_ «What is the current set of literature that we believe should be read by all educated adults? One of the key problems is what you think should be on such a list is definitely regional in nature. Ask someone in the U.S., for example, and they might put Tom Sawyer on the list (absent from the supposed BBC list above). Ask someone from South Africa and Cry, the Beloved Country would likely make the cut. Also difficult is the time issue. How much time must pass before a book is seen as essential to a complete education? Must contemporary authors be long dead before their titles are considered for such a list?»
A good question from Roy Tennant. Time probably is only one of the factors to be considered. Others are: language, diffusion, communication. How much intrinsic quality does count?