Poll of the Week: What Do You Look For in a Book

Howard Thurman readingI was talking to a friend recently about why we read. When she reads a book, she’s looking for plot: a good story that grabs her and pulls her headlong through the book. When her boyfriend reads, he’s looking for interesting use of language and, most of all, characters: realistic, interesting people whose psychological depths are plumbed. There isn’t much overlap in their favorite books; not because one of them has bad taste in books, but because they want something very different out of the books they read.

We readers want it all, of course—I’m a plot person, but bad writing or flat characters will make me put down a book fast—but there are differences in priority. So, what do you look for most in a book? What aspect is most important to you, most likely to grab—and hold—your interest?

Elaboration in comments is, of course, encouraged!

2 Comments

  1. Posted October 12, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I love a good plot – especially in a mystery. If the plot is bad, the mystery is, too. However, if the plot is a good one, but the characters are flat with no spunk, then why would I want to sit for hours with them? The writing needs to be good and the facts have to be correct. All the aspects of the story need an even part. It’s like a huge tapestry. All the colors stand on their own…but they weave together to form a bigger, beautiful picture. That’s the way a story has to be for me to enjoy it.

    peace,
    Donna

  2. Posted October 12, 2009 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Well said, Donna!


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