I went looking along my own shelves yesterday for reading material, and picked up an old favorite that's been sitting idle for a long, long time. Sure, the writing doesn't rise to the level of classic literature, but the story keeps my attention, doesn't seem as long as it really is (a few hundred pages), and is one of those stories that generates discussion. That's what I call a good book.
When it comes to actual classics, there are a few I cannot read no matter how many times I try, but then there are those novels that have been around for centuries but feel fresh in their stories or their language, and are perennially readable.
Problem with my own stories: I keep tearing them apart and putting them back together, and little progress is being made at the moment. I want them to be fresh, well-written, move along at a good clip, make people think. Dagnabbit, I'm a perfectionist. That's anathema to production.
So, despite my ambitions, I'm gonna move this process along, and send out a less-than-perfect piece some time this coming weekend.
And maybe I'll read some more in that old favorite. But only after the writing is out the door.