Armchair Book Expo is an online book conference that takes place this year from May 31st-June 4th. Every day bloggers take part in different discussion posts, twitter chats, and even an Instagram challenge. Today we have a choice of topics between What Do Readers Want? & Let’s Collaborate & Listen. I’ve elected to take part in the former.
What Do Readers Want?: What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story? What do we want from an author event? How does diversity representation fit into all of this?
My own wants when it comes to books have been very fluid since joining the book blogging community. What I may have liked a couple of years ago, may not satisfy me today. I think it’s safe to say that my standards have risen. I expect more from books in terms of characterization, world-building, and diversity. I personally like character-driven novels and feel that I’m more likely to forgive a lack of good world-building if I find the characters truly engaging.
How a book makes me feel is also a factor in how I consume books and rate them. Do I read with my head or my heart? I think it’s a little of both. When I read a book, I think about characterization, storylines, the writing, and world-building. But any book that doesn’t make me feel something, won’t end up as a five-star for me. I want authors to move me with their stories, I want to agonize over what happens next, I want to feel emotionally invested in the characters.
There’s a huge arbitrary component to answering a question like this and for every reader, their expectations for a book are different. What may ruin a book for me could be dismissed by another reader and vice versa. What makes or breaks a book really depends on the reader: what they expect to get from a book, how they interpret what’s on the page, their tolerance for certain shortcomings, as well as other factors.
What the most important factor for you when you pick up a book? Do you read with your head or your heart? Is one more important than the other? Let’s discuss in the comments and leave a link to your own Armchair Book Expo post in the comments!