What Makes A Book Good? By Ashtyn Stann

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Hey guys, we’re going to do something a little different today. Today we have a guest blog post by Ashtyn Stann, who is a obsessively rampaging reader and book blogger. She does awesome book blogging at her website Wonderland’s Reader, and you should follow her on Twitter if you’re not already @AshtynStann. Since she has read *counts on fingers, toes, teeth, blades of grass, loses count* an unbelievable amount of books and reading is her specialty, she’s here to tell us what exactly makes a book good. So cue the overly dramatic drumroll, pop some popcorn, and let’s get this party started. Take it away Ashtyn…

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What makes people fall in love with a book? What feature does it possess that makes people feel so connected to those words on a page and a handful of fictional characters? Put simply: what makes a good book good?

For everyone, it’s different. Some people go wild for a bone chilling horror. Others adore a good action story. Some pick up the saddest book they can find and cry for hours and absolutely love it. Others can pick up and like any book as long as it has good grammar and syntax. No person can answer this question for all of the billions of people around the world but, personally, it comes down to a few key elements to really make me want to put a book up on a pedestal and bow down: the grammar and spelling is mostly error free, the characters are people I can connect and sympathize with, the story is exciting, and there is a dash of romance.

​The Grammar: Nothing turns me off more than a book littered with grammatical errors. If I’m reading and see the wrong punctuation, or a word spelt wrong, I immediately like the book a little less. That’s not to say that I expect anyone to be perfect and have everything in their book correctly spelt and formatted. Hell, you could probably look through this post and find at least a couple errors of my own. I understand that nothing it going to be perfect and I don’t go into a book looking for that. However, when I can find mistakes on the vast majority of pages, it tells me that the author did not spend the time necessary to edit and fix the initial mistakes in their novel. If the author didn’t take the time to make their creation as good as it could get, why would I want to spend the hours it would take to read it? I wouldn’t.

The Characters: As a young adult, I generally enjoy reading from the perspective or about other young adult characters. I have a better grasp of what they are experiencing and going through in life at that moment because I am going through similar things (emotionally wise. I am not, presently, struggling with the urge to drink blood/turn into a wolf/fight monsters/ect.) This doesn’t mean I don’t feel for or connect with adult characters in adult books or children in middle grade/children’s books. Some situations and feelings experienced with these characters are universal and it’s easy to connect with them no matter what age they are at. However, I have found that I enjoy reading from the POV and about young adult or new adult characters.

The Story: This one is pretty simple. If a story is not exciting, I’m not going to be excited to read about it. I don’t want to read 200+ pages of a characters living their regular, ordinary lives like going shopping or to school. If I wanted to experience that, I would put the book down and go to the grocery store or sit in a desk for 7 hours a day (which I, unfortunately, am required to do at the moment). I read books to escape my own, mundane and rather uneventful life. Wow, this is getting sad. My life is actually quite fun but I don’t have quests with demigods or adventures in Wonderland to look forward to, besides in books. So, I would like to read about interesting, exciting, totally not mundane events.

The Romance: Now, I’m not talking about hard core, hot and heavy romance here, people. I’m talking about a relationship between two characters that grows with time and is largely based on the emotions and feelings they have for each other rather than the physical aspects (though I’m not opposed to the occasional kiss). I like seeing the way these sort of feelings grow and change characters. It reveals a lot about them and affects a lot of the decisions they make throughout the book. I actually tend to find book with no romance bland and boring. Without that added aspect, things fall flat for me. Plus it’s always nice to add a new book boyfriend to the ever growing list.

So, these are the things that make a good book good for me. I hadn’t thought of it much before making this post and I enjoyed delving deeper into each aspect. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for having me on your blog, Daevone!

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A big thanks to Ashtyn for taking time out of her busy schedule to write this informative post. So let us know in the comments below, what do you think makes a good book?

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