What makes a book interesting?

By Marilyn Sheridan, in Lifestyle, Books · 12-03-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

I like a good book myself, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, with well described characters and an easy to follow story that might twist and turn through plots and sub-plots, sometimes with a surprising finish.

Travel books are also a favourite of mine, in particular ones often referred to as ‘coffee table books’, expensive books of beautiful photographs from around the world, often souvenirs (bought from when travel was much simpler!)

But it’s a bit like music, everyone has their own preferences, men and women might like different books – men might go for action-packed, macho stuff, while women might go for something more romantic maybe, and some books might appeal to both! Have you noticed that book covers seem to be designed to attract men or women – strong colours with fierce illustrations of guns or sinking ships for the men maybe, pink and flowery for the ladies…but this is only my opinion and observations, right?

Children’s books are another thing altogether, and I have to say it bugs me a bit with celebrity authors. They are getting good at writing simple stories but with really good graphics that appeal to the adult (after all, they are the ones mostly buying the books!), and as a parent myself, I know my kids were sometimes fascinated by a particular book, not necessarily for the content, but for the funny or beautiful illustrations.

Just because you like a book doesn’t mean someone else will like it too.

Books are my weakness I must admit, and I spend a lot of time reading reviews, but sometimes this isn’t a good gauge to make me want to read it. For example, some books come with gushing reviews from the publisher on the back cover or the flyleaf – it’s won this medal or a contender for that award - but in reality they are only interested in selling as many copies as possible, and are adept at manipulating their opinions to make it super-interesting or appealing. People who have really read it and give honest opinions are a much better gauge (see the book reviews below) - there will be some who will give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down, but ultimately the choice is yours.

And just because a certain author has had success with one or more books in the past doesn’t automatically make their next one a block-buster – although they have more chance of selling the new book based on their past success.

A friend of mine knows I am really into reading, and because of lockdown and having time on my hands to read, she loaned me two from her collection. I read one already, a typical girl-meets-boy-loses-boy-finds-boy-again, it was pretty predictable and not my ideal read, but I persevered to the end. I am not going to give away the author’s name, but she has written many books in the same genre, obviously has found her market and is good at what she does.

Perhaps I am just a teeny bit jealous that I haven’t got the ability to do it myself!



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