I’ve been reading a lot lately. At least for me. I’ve pumped my average of two to three weeks a book down to one week (sometimes even 5 days). When I can read a whole book that fast for me it says a lot about the book. Through all this reading, some books have come out on top, while others have been deemed mediocre. Unfortunately a fair few have also fallen to my never to be touched with a 99 1/2 foot pole list. It made me think, why am I loving some of these books while wishing for the others to stay far away from me. So rather than wallow in the negative with what I don’t like. I’ll talk about what characteristics are in the books that come to be my favourites.
Easy To Read
The best thing a book can do is be easy to read. That means it needs to flow from word to word, from page to page. It needs to be engaging and compelling and well written. All of that helps a story go from just another story, to something actually readable. As much as big words can flavor a story. The better stories I’ve read actually were not littered with five dollar words, but just found interesting ways to use more common words. Flow and ease and suddenly I will feel like the story is not just words on a page that I’m struggling through, but magically I’m 50 pages later. It is that feeling that I want to feel when I read. I don’t want to feel like getting through the pages are a chore. That can kill a book. When it takes me two months to read a 450 page book, but 10 days to read a 540 page book there is a problem. One is easy to read and the other is not.
Not wanting to put it down
Obviously this plays into the fact that the story is easy to read. If it is easy to read, it stands a better chance of me getting to the good stuff. Yes, I just made a bold statement. If a story is easy to read then it has the luxury of getting to the really good stuff later. Whereas a book that is tough to read needs to get immediately to the great stuff and it better be amazing. When it’s easy to ready and has interesting things in play and I can see where it’s going, even if it isn’t there, I keep reading until I get to that inevitable moment. It creates the illusion that it’s hard to put down. I simply want to read more and thus the book has done what it sought to do. It made me read it and it made me desire more. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it. Making your readers want to know more, want to feel more connected, having an impact on your reader; isn’t that what it’s all about.
In order to not want to put it down, you have to have great characters. You can have the best plot in the world, but if the characters in play within the plot are not great then it will be difficult to become one of my favourites. I like characters. They make me want to come back for more. Not the potential plots or even the Author. What makes me come back is the characters. If I don’t fall in love with the characters I won’t come back. If I don’t feel invested in the characters I won’t come back. Why would I? That means the interpersonal relationships in a story are key to me. I love a good love story in the background. I also love a good strained relationship in the background. Pretty much I love elements that make me squee with excitement and hope for more.
What elements make you love stories?