Had a nice visit with my father this week. One of the things that we usually turn to in conversation is books. It got me to thinking about what I love about books.
Now when I talk about books I mean books. Paper and ink, hold it in my hand, turn the pages, books. I can sometimes see the benefit of the readers now available on the market. They save space. Maybe in the long run they save money, though I doubt it. Still, I can’t imagine not holding a book in my hand, and as I said, turning the pages as the story leads me on whatever journey its author imagined for me.
But there is more to love about books than their physicality. So what is it for me that turns me on in a book? Here’s what I think. First I must be able to connect to the characters. They must feel real to me and I must feel as though I am getting to know them. I love character growth also. If a character is the same at the beginning of a book as they are at the end then it is likely I really didn’t have any fun getting to know them.
I am not very fond of overly descriptive prose. Please don’t spend two or three paragraphs telling me how the sun rose over the field and the blossoms glistened with the dew. To be honest when I hit these paragraphs I just start skipping through looking for the next bit of story.
Take me somewhere amazing. A story being connected to a place has little to do with description. As I said before I tend to just glance through that part of books. Rather what makes a place amazing in a story has much more to do with the events and the people than it does what the buildings look like or the streets.
Of course the most important part is the story. Whether it is factual, fantastical, mysterious, romantic, the story must feel real. And it must draw me in. I should practically drool over what happens next. If I can guess what happens next, well then, what is the point of spending my time on it? (Sorry Danielle Steele you long fell out of favor with me)
So what have I enjoyed. Oh so many books! But here are a few of my favorites, maybe you could share some of yours!
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Rise to Rebellion & The Glorious Cause by Jeff Shaara
Warday by Whitley Streiber
Alas Babylon by Pat Frank
The Professor, Jane Eyre & Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Chesapeake by James A. Michener
Anthem by Ayn Rand
Rebecca & My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
Watership Down by Richard Adams
P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Candide by Voltaire
Mansfield Park (& Okay, I admit it everything else) by Jane Austen
Agnes Grey & The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
And the list could go on and on!
While I am on the subject of reading and good books I’ll recommend a website to you. It is a great way to keep track of what you have read, how much you liked it and get more recommendations based on your choices. Also you can connect with friends to see what they are reading and what they think of what they’ve read as well. It’s called Goodreads and it is at (real surprise here)
So now that you have heard what I think, let me know what you think! And then get off your computer and go pick up a book!