Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good book, indifferent book, or just plain bad book?


Bookshelf-of-Moebius
sourc: great-creative-bookshelf-designs


When Elephant’s Child wrote about her struggle with purging her bookshelves, overflowing with so many books, thoughts began as my own book purge began.  What determines a good book from an indifferent book?  How do I began?

Perhaps this guidelines will help:

A book is declared good when it moves from being a bathroom reading book to a book-by-the-recliner, in one flush.

A book from a garage sale box marked 25¢? It may look great, but it has never been read, with only the first five pages turned.  One will buy it, but it will eventually end up it one’s own 25¢ box.

When the reader resumes at page 147 and a few hours later, moves the bookmark to page 245: This reader wants to find out what happens next.

When a book works its way from the “high interest” shelf and works its way down to the bottom shelf where there is a stack of Kohl’s ads and some two year old magazines, the book did not pass muster.

And

When the book one is thinking of buying at the used book store, one notices pages are folded down in the upper corner many times by different people.  And, also, there are notes made in margins.

It is hoped that these observations are helpful.


29 comments:

  1. A good book doesn't get deleted from one's iPad a month later...

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  2. I keep books until the dust on them reach one chapter high. I do try to give them away as I never reread them at this point in life. Great books go to my friends and loved ones, and all the rest are donated to charities. I believe in sharing what is good in life and also some that aren't.

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    1. A few months ago, we loaded up boxes of the indifferent books and gave them to GoodWill. The good books we have kept so far. The great books will stay forever.

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  3. And then two people can have opposite views about the exact same book.

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  4. I keep a very few books on the shelf...I can always go to the library if I want to read them again.

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    1. The library is a great friend to a reader.

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  5. A good book is one that I find myself buying an extra copy of because my copy has become ratty and worn out. It is the timeless friend I take with me when I don't know what I want to read, but instantly realize that yes, I am ready to read that once again.

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    1. I have some like that. Ones that still surprise me...

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    2. I have a couple of books that I've bought second copies of. One of my favourites is a historical romance called Gypsy Lady by Shirlee Busbee. I read it until it fell apart, now the second one is showing signs of being read often.

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  6. haha yeah if it goes from the loo good to read indeed at ones zoo

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    1. My husband is a "loo reader". It has been frustrating when there was only one loo in the house with me and children waiting outside the door.

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  7. I had to purge my library almost thirty years ago, when I moved to a house with no library. I donated all but six books to the friends of the library for their sale. Here is a story from the sale. There was a large tent outside the library with tables of free books. Late at night one of the organizers had a phone call:"There are people inside with flashlights, looking." The organizer replied the books were free, go back to bed.

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    1. What was the phone caller doing up at that time and peering out the window?

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  8. Different opinions can show on many but the good ones leave everyone reading

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    1. It is a matter of personal history and taste, but you are correct: there are always a few that capture every reader.

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  9. I like this--- it's funny -I guess writers want people to want to know what is going to happen so much that they just might skip ahead but then we also want them to savor each page :)

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    1. Knowing the end reduces one's anxiety about what happens to the main character. As for me, I always like a surprise.

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  10. A good book means dark circles around the eyes in the morning and a lot of yawns, because you didn't want to put it away and go to bed. ;)

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    1. I know I have done that many times with "just another few pages..."

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  11. And I still have trouble. And need another purge. Badly.
    A good book (to me) is one I will read again, and/or one which has me thinking about it long after the book itself has been closed. And there are rather a lot of them in our crowded house and my even more crowded head.

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  12. For me, the keepers are the ones I think I'll read again, did something so well I want to study it more closely, or are ones I want to share with the right person. Otherwise, they usually go to the youth group annual flea market box, or to the Little Free Library down the street (a neighborhood book exchange). When you're married to a professor, HIS library will quickly take over the entire house if you don't regularly purge. :-)

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    1. Oh so true. My own beloved is a lover of physics and astronomy and science fiction. It's a mess.

      We keep the books we love and send the rest onto other readers.

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  13. To me, a good book is one that I know I will read again and again, sometimes I can tell within the first couple of chapters that this is a book I will never let go of. Others get passed on really quickly.

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  14. I am with River...I can usually tell very early on if a book will capture my fancy. Though there have been some (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) that started out VERY slow but ended up being amazing.

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  15. I need a method. I've been reading books on writing the last month or two and authors of those books recommended further reading. My booksheves are finite so when new books come in, old ones must go. So your post is timely for me.
    R

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  16. Love, love, love those shelves! I disagree with the one about garage sale books. One man's trash being, in many cases, another man's treasure! May I add that if you grab the book to squeeze in a few more pages while the coffee is brewing it's probably a keeper....

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!