Why does a book still appeal to today's readers even when it was written over 100 years ago?
Not all books that were written long ago appeal to today's readers, but the ones that do have something timeless about them. They don't seem dated because they still appeal to something we can relate to. Many literary issues are timeless... we still deal with jealousy, anger, war, kindness, love, friendship, betrayal... and many other things that are the same now as they were 100 years ago. Some books are not as appealing, since the world has changed so much that it is hard to relate. A Science Fiction book where the main topic is imagining travelling to the moon and all the new people you would meet... might not be as exciting since humans have now been there, and we know that there aren't people or aliens living there. But other aspects of the same book could be timeless... yearning for something... working towards a dream. We can learn a lot about the past and the present from reading old books, if we are willing to interpret and apply the lessons to our lives and community today.