Let the Reader Soar

Just because the prose is not eloquent doesn’t mean it’s not good.

~ Benjamin Solah

Benjamin Solah is talking about the book Twilight in the above quote. Visit his website to read the full post – On Twilight. What I’m about to say has nothing to do with Twilight; it’s about all published books, but the quoted sentence prompted my thoughts and that’s why I’ve included it here.

I’ve read a lot of books over the years – some have been great, many have been mediocre and a lot have been tolerable, bordering on terrible. And yes, I’ve even attempted to read some that could only be described as a complete waste of time and money; and I always wondered how those ones got published.

In my opinion, the books that didn’t make the grade (for me) might have been great stories if I had persevered, but I can’t see why I should force myself to read dribble. But were they really dribble? Or was it simply a case of those particular stories not “speaking” to me personally.

I find I enjoy books I can relate to. Books that confirm I’m not the only person with a particular problem or goal, or the only person looking for love and acceptance, or the only person to experience grief, happiness, fear, joy and all those other emotions that fill me during any given year. I enjoy books that help me explore topics and places I love. I don’t enjoy books that force me to explore topics and places I find incredibly boring. But that doesn’t mean the person sitting next to me or across from me won’t enjoy that same story. Those people have different views to me, have experienced different lives, have different goals and most likely enjoy hobbies that differ from mine, so it’s likely they will enjoy different books to me too.

One thing I must say is that some of the great books I’ve read have not been written particularly well, but the characters and setting have pushed that fact aside and allowed me to soar into the world of make believe. A book is about the written word, of course it is, but it’s also about pulling the reader into the pages of the story so that they feel part of what’s going on. A book that does that is a success in my eyes.

I just wanted to share that with you.

3 thoughts on “Let the Reader Soar”

  1. Totally agreed (and cheers for the plug ;)) The books I tend to put down are the ones where the story isn’t going anywhere, but even then I can sometimes just go with it. I find I’m so much less picky than most readers.

  2. You can certainly dislike something because you didn’t like the writing itself. Books can be terrible for that reason alone. We all have different desires when it comes to style. In some cases it’s not such a big deal (one person likes literary styles, others like more popular, simplistic styles). But if a book is clearly not written well, it’s obvious to anyone. If you couldn’t finish a book because the writing just drove you nuts, then it likely wasn’t written all that well.

  3. I’m the same, Benjamin. I will accept a lot more than a lot of readers, especially readers who are also writers!

    SMD, I agree with what you’re saying and that has definitely happened with books I’ve tried to read. This post was looking at those not so well written books from another angle though.


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