Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reading & Rating

There are books that are well written, others that are less so, but they all have value if they make me feel something. A book's purpose is to take the reader (me) on a journey, and if it does that, then bravo.

In all my years as an avid reader, there are only two books that I've read for pleasure that I could not finish; only two. I will not name the two, but even those two have value. I keep them both visible on my bookshelf; reminders of where I don't want my own books to be.

Most books are three to four star books - these are the ones that are publicized, read, and talked about. Mostly mainstream of varying genres. They are enjoyable, but often lack a full package to make them great. The three star books are usually less memorable. Four star books, on the other hand, are great reads, and I often refer to sections of them when I'm doing my own writing, but the holy grail of my library are the five-star reads. These are the books that haunt me, the ones that stay with me for days, weeks, and months. These are the ones that I read with an awed perspective, I read these as a writer and admire the talent. These are the books that bring me to tears or evoke a laugh, maybe even make me want to scream while I'm reading.

I'm involved in two books right now. I say involved because sometimes a book can feel like a relationship; reading it is like dating;  the five-star reads become a marriage. Of the two books I'm reading, one is a three-star read and one is a five-star read. The three-star read is cliche in many ways, in it's writing, flat characters, and dialogue, and yet there's still something there that propels me to finish it. I still feel connected and I have to finish the story. I feel something when I'm reading it, so I continue.The five-star read made me cry this morning; I was whimpering and balling like a child. And it felt good. Crazy, right? These are the books I live for. A five-star read is a treasure, and I love it when I uncover one that's fit to where it's label.