How Do You Choose a Good Book?
They say that you need to read the equivalent of a library’s worth of books in order to write one yourself. I’m currently working on writing a book and so I’m testing this theory. A ferocious reader to begin with, I have no trouble adding more titles to my list of “must read” books.
However, as a writer and author, I am appalled by what passes as a good book. I recently stayed up until four in the morning to finish a novel–not that it was good but I just had to know what the ending would look like. I wasn’t surprised to be disappointed and chastised myself for not putting it down after the first 100 pages.
But I knew that I could afford to stay up late and sleep in the next day. And this book was on Oprah’s list of choices. I like Oprah and value her opinion – or at least I had. I can’t imagine that she would read this book and give it space in her elite club.
The book itself was well written, from an editing point of view, but it was the content that disturbed me. There was an obvious lack of morals and values. The book touched on some heavy topics like adultery, grief, drug addition, and betrayal yet left me empty and sad in its worldly solutions. I just can’t understand how such a cold and shallow book could make it to the bestseller list, especially when there are books that tackle similar themes with so much more heart.
Besides the lack of substance in some best sellers, I’m also appalled by lies being published in other so-called great books. It’s frustrating to pick up a book–based solely on its promising title–to find that it is full of rubbish. It saddens me that this is what passes as authority and gains a prominent position on bookstore shelves.
I suppose I sound like I’m on a soapbox today, but as a reader I know that there are excellent well-written books that don’t see the same success as these others. My time is valuable and although I will not stop reading, I plan to read reviews from reliable sources before I start a book, be more discerning when my spirit tells me to stop reading, and become more vocal on recommending “must reads.”
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight (1 Corinthians 3:19 NIV.)
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