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Let's talk about books for a second

What makes you like some books more than others?

For me, it's all about the emotions that are evoked, and whether or not my imagination can allow me to jump into the book.

If 1) the book involves me feeling like crap because I could put myself in the character's shoes and it was an unpleasant place to be, chances are, I didn't like the book. It doesn't mean it wasn't well-written, it just means I probably wouldn't ever read it again. It could be a literary work of art, and I probably wouldn't read it again.

If 2) the book doesn't allow me to literally jump into the story (either because of plot implausibilities or maybe the language is even too advanced for my little mind to wrap itself around, or maybe because it just wasn't written well enough) then I'm also less likely to enjoy it, or at least read it once and never again. Again, it could be a work of art, but if I couldn't get into it, I won't like it.

Does this mean I only read crap? No. I actually read and enjoy non-drivel. Does it mean I only read good stuff? No. If I can get connect with the story, then I can also get into stuff that is generally considered crap (aka Harlequin Romances, Twilight, etc.).

It wasn't always this way, but I've noticed that since I've had kids (which also corresponds to the time when my dad started to fall ill), I've not been able to enjoy either tv, or books, or movies that make me cry, and/or that don't have a satisfying resolution that doesn't involve sadness. I just can't.

So what about you guys? What makes you like a book?



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)
It certainly sounds like we have the same criteria for enjoying a book. I need something that will engage me and allow me to jump into a book. I like to be there "seeing" and "experiencing" and "feeling" right along with the characters. I'm currently reading a series that I'm sure a lot of folks think is drivel... the Harry Dresden series... my boss just gave me a book from the series and it's totally pulled me in and I'm right there, riding along with the characters and story and just enjoying the hell out of it.
Nov. 15th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)
I've not been able to enjoy either tv, or books, or movies that make me cry, and/or that don't have a satisfying resolution that doesn't involve sadness. I just can't.

Yes, this. I don't always want shallow stories, but I need happy endings. It's not as if my life is so terrible, but the having children somehow meant that I could imagine the worst kind of terrible far easier than I could before.
Nov. 15th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC)
I kinda agree, I think it makes sense to want happy fun times when choosing your entertainment. You can have the choice between evoking almost any emotion through books, tv etc, why would anyone choose the negative ones?
Nov. 15th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
I don't know, I just like what I like and don't like what I don't like. I will admit to being a book snob though and I totally judge people based on what they read, at least a little bit.
Nov. 15th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
I can't read books that get too dense with description. Or I mean, I can. But I'm very liable to see a gigantic block of text and just skip right over it. When I was reading Atlas Shrugged, in fact, I skipped over about 72 pages. In a row. I do not think that I missed anything.

Really I just need an engaging story or a subject I'm interested in and I'm sold.
Feb. 2nd, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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