What makes a good read? What is it in a story that makes you want to pick that book up or switch on the kindle and snuggle up to be drawn into an imaginary world?.
The exhilaration I used to feel when I had read a word correctly, remains with me now. I recall bringing reading books home and being so excited when I could recognise a word that I had learnt. That was the only part of starting school that I was looking forward to – being taught how to read.
I enjoyed group reading in primary school as I have discussed in a previous blog post. In the summer holidays I was always at the library, and in the summer of 1985 a brand new library was built in Clayton Green which I practically lived in. There was not much else to do in the area that I grew up in, unless you wanted to hang around the shops. I certainly didn’t want to do that, I’d rather hang out with my friends from Sweet Valley High, Famous Five and Nancy Drew.
I tend to always finish books, but that’s more about my personality than anything. I am a “finisher off” and regardless of the quality of story, plot and characters I think about the author and the hard work that they undertook to write this story. I also think, I should keep going with a story as it may get better. That was certainly the case for the Stieg Larrson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” first novel. Those first two hundred pages were a drag, but I persevered as I had read so many good reviews about the book. Glad I did as it was as good as the reviews stated.
I am currently reading “We need to talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. I am finding it uncomfortable to read, as it is dealing with a delicate subject but the characters of Kevin and Eva are so captivating that I want to know more about them as people. I am pretty sure that Kevin’s story will be different to the story that Eva is telling at the moment.
So that’s what makes a good read.
– Memorable characters. Likeable characters who have many flaws that they become interesting to observe. I like to identify with a character, but of course I don’t want them completely like me – that would be boring. I want their characters to drive their actions, and to see the results of this unfold before my eyes. I like strong, female characters who are not the typical cliché of what a woman is. In ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, Eva is a successful, professional woman with her own business who travels around the world. She didn’t want children, but thought she better had as that was the done thing to do. The repercussion is that she developed post-natal depression and never bonded with her son. A memorable character.
– Cliffhangers. I want something to happen that will make me want to read onto the next chapter. It could be the smallest detail, but when I invest my time in a book I want it to be the most difficult task for me to put the book down. It’s nice to be taken from reality, and if that fantasy world is captivating and exciting, then please keep me there for a while longer. That washing can wait.
– Good writing. I won’t profess to be an expert otherwise I would have been published by now, but a book has to read well and not annoy the hell out of me. Only one book did that and it was 50 Shades. I know, I’m sorry I bought into the hype and read the first one. Only the first mind you, the writing really frustrated me. The “Oh my”, and references to the internal goddess and all that guff – yes I wrote the word guff!
What do you think makes a good read?
This is a post for http://www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of June – I’m behind already but determined to catch up #wpad