What do you think makes a good book?

I’ve written a lot about what I think makes a good book and maybe some time this month I’ll compile it into an article.  But first I want to know: What do you think makes a good book?  Is it characters you can connect with?  An exciting plot?  Fantastic world-building?  I don’t think there’s one single thing that makes a book good every time, but what thing(s) make a good book for you?


  1. Andy Szpuk

    For me, the pace is a key ingredient which needs careful management and enough variations to drip tension, work a good build up and then manage the action when a dramatic incident occurs. Modern culture is so influenced by film, TV and other media, in which the pace can be manipulated in a much more sophisticated way. So, it’s important for the story to keep moving and not get stuck in unnecessary detail.

    • Carrie Slager

      I admit I do go for books that slowly drip tension. I don’t mind and actually greatly admire authors who can sustain tension over 500, even 800 pages. One great example of that was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Some people thought the first 200 pages were boring, but for whatever reason I always detect hints of tension throughout it.

  2. Caleb Flanagan

    For me it’s all about the story concept. I can handle less than stellar characters, awkward narrative, or strange plot devices, but if the story concept is lacking I’ll get bored quick.

    • Carrie Slager

      It really depends on the story. I enjoy both character-driven stories and concept-driven ones, but when it’s mainly concept-driven it depends on how the author handles it. In some stories with awesome concepts I will put up with bad characters, but for most I won’t.

  3. ikramilluminati

    To me a good book would mean to be pretty simple when it comes to the events that make the plot, kinda, events that are conceivable so that common people can relate to it but that doesn’t Sci fi is not my taste, however, too much of exaggeration can ruin the taste.

    • Carrie Slager

      I love fantasy precisely because it can be so unbelievable, but I guess it’s each to their own. Simple plots are best when fantasy or science fiction is involved so you aren’t overwhelmed by a complicated plot and a new world.

  4. ikramilluminati

    Fantasy is good to read but as I mentioned when some writer tries to take it too long enough and exaggerates things out of proportion I feel a little dejected. But as you rightly said “it’s each to its own” and that is what makes us Humans, everyone having his/her own tastes, making the world a cocktail of all kinds of people which is a Blessing!

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