Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What’s The Litmus Test For A Good Book?

There are many ways to judge a book.  Some do so beginning with its cover and title – or even if the author is attractive.  But that’s all surface stuff.  When it comes down to it, did the book make you feel something, teach you something, entertain you, or enlighten and inspire you?  Did you feel better for reading it?  Was it better than most books that you’ve read or are aware of?

So many things influence our ability to enjoy a book.  Some of it has to do with what the reader brings to the table.  Does he or she:

·         Read under an environment that is relaxed and allowing for thinking along with the book?
·         Have the background knowledge or experiences that may be needed in order to enhance the reading experience?
·         Possess the vocabulary level needed?
·         Have the emotional makeup or frame of mind to appreciate the story at hand?
·         Suffer from concentration issues, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, or exhaustion?
·         Have vision impairment of suffer such as from Dyslexia?

Is your book choice based on economics or availability?  Maybe your enjoyment potential for a book is already limited by finances, censorship, or other factors.

Chances are, the factor that most influences your book reading experience of a particular book is your track record of reading.  Certainly, if this is your 5th book or 50th or 500th, you will have a different view of the book that you read.

Is a book good because it’s better than others?  Is it good because it’s better than we expected?  Is it good because it’s better than the ones we’ve been exposed to?  Is it good because we want to believe it's good – because others say it is and we want to fit in?

How do you really rate a book?  Are you looking at the plot and ending?  Character development?  Pace and setting?  Values espoused?  Language?  Is it the totality of some or all of these things or is there some bottom line way of concluding a book is good-bad, great-lousy?

Perhaps the mark of a really good book is one that you find yourself telling others to read, even when no one has asked you for a book recommendation.  It’s the one you think about long after finishing it.  It’s the one you choose to go back to and re-read.  It’s the one that gives you hope and comfort, the one that opened your eyes, and the one that feels like it speaks to you.

Writers, please never violate these three rules!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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