What Makes it a Good Book?

I love literature. I am far from an expert on the topic; however, I do love reading and the richness that comes from a “good book.”

But, really, what does that mean?

Doesn’t it drive you nuts when someone raves about “good book” and then you read it and it is terrible?! What were they thinking? What was it they liked? And why on earth did it constitute a recommendation?   

That is not to say they were wrong, but rather, what forms someone’s opinion and how do people come to their appreciation of a given text?

I cannot answer for anyone but myself, but I will give that a whirl (and try to be concise).


Are they believable?

If the heroes, are they loveable despite their flaws & do I wish I could sit with them over a cup of coffee?

If the villains, does my skin crawl at the thought of encountering them (especially if their villainous ways bubble just under the surface)?


Is it engaging and does it move swiftly?

Did I lose myself in it or find myself wondering beyond what the text gives me?

If fiction, is it realistic?

If non-fiction, is it informative?

(Photo Credit)

I previously wrote about Questions I ask When Reading. The first two questions are 1.) What do I intend to get out of it? and 2.) Why am I reading this? But the third question best gauges whether or not it is a good book and embodies the richness of literature I referred to initially…

{Did I grow as a person from this piece of literature}

What was my personal experience (i.e. If I were to recommend this piece of literature, how would I answer these questions?):  

Did I deeply feel any emotion?

Did I gain a deeper perspective on a different culture or way of life?

Did the information make me more intelligent or well educated on a subject?

Do I better understand someone else’s life circumstances?

Was I motivated towards change?

Once again, each of these questions could be expanded upon; for now, I’ll leave it at how I personally assess if a book is a “good” one.

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One Response to What Makes it a Good Book?
  1. Hilary
    March 3, 2014 | 4:08 pm

    I’m so glad I found your site! I’m always looking for posts that are book-related. I really appreciate your thoughts on choosing a “good” book. I am very aware that the books I read may not appeal to everyone, but your guidelines are spot-on to what I feel makes a good read. Thanks for sharing!
    Hilary at Wholesome Reads