How do you decide if you just read a GREAT BOOK?
How do you grade a book you have just read? What criterion do you use to decide whether or not to recommend it to a friend?
The simplest criterion is that I was simply unable to put it down. Then, if I can clearly recall everything that has happened with little effort. Getting more complex, I have to decide if I liked the story and the characters, as well as the setting, the dialogue, the themes, and the tone. At the most complex level, I have to decide whether I enjoyed the prose itself.
A truly great book excels at all of these things, even if it goes unnoticed by the ones who put the classics compilations together. To me, something more casual like Mike Resnick's "Santiago" or Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" is just as great and maybe even as important as noted classics like Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man."
Bottom line: it must be something that stays with me even after finishing the last page. If it's a story that you remember days later or it moves you in some way, it's definitely worth recommending.
The book simply swallows you whole. You become part of the works. You are so absorbed in it that your time becomes somewhat irrelevant. One may stay up well into the "wee" hours without one being aware of it. Your real time becomes novel time...
A relatively new study has found that reading a good book triggers neurological changes that can last for up to 5 days after finishing the book. All changes were registered in the left temporal cortex, the primary sensory motor regions of the brain which is also associated with language.
For me it is if it makes me think of my childhood or changes my view about something.
If I had to stop while reading and think about what has been said, then I know that I'm reading a great book. Books that make you think are the successful ones.
by giselle23237 years ago
What is your definition of a great book?
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