...and they're probably my favorite thing in the entire world. Movies are great, of course, but the book is always so much better (except in the case of Little Dorrit...the miniseries was just a wee bit better than the book). Also, while I infinitely prefer print books to Kindle, I still love my Kindle. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have read all the amazing books I have if I didn't have a Kindle. I wouldn't have been able to beta-read numerous books and fall in love with fresh new plots and amazing characters and all that great stuff. And Kindle books are much cheaper than print books which means I can actually get more books than I would if I were strictly for print books. But I'm not here to discuss the virtues of Kindle. I want to discuss books, as I see them, and what some of my favorites are.
For me, books fall in five categories. Trash, Meh, Good, Great, and Soul. Intriguing, right? I'll dissect these different categories and explain what each one is about. I'll be doing it in a bulleted list, since I like Organization. Oh, and this system also works for movies, so if you're more of a movie-oriented person, feel free to take these as my opinions for movies as well. To begin...
- Trash - These are generally books I've never read because their reputation has proceeded them. I sometimes feel a little uncomfortable when I condemn a book without reading it, but some of them are just obvious. Twilight, anyone? (although, on a side note, I wonder how Stephanie Meyer feels when she goes online and sees everyone bashing her work...) These are pretty much the kind of books I don't read and I don't have any interest in reading (kind of like The Hunger Games, although I'm hesitant to label it as 'trash' because it's probably much better than, say, Twilight, even in just terms of writing mechanics).
- Meh - These are the 'one time, never again' books, but it's usually not because there's anything bad in them, per se (whenever I sense a book starting to go in the wrong direction, I just stop reading, end of story, both figuratively and literally) but they were dull and boring and bland. I'm thinking of one book that I beta-read in particular (actually I stopped half-way through because the story just wasn't making sense) which shall remain nameless in case the author ever stops by here and gets offended. I've also read some non-fiction that was the same way. Overall, 'meh' books make for a mostly unpleasant reading experience (obviously).
- Good - Books like these make me feel warm and happy and comfortable inside while I'm reading them, although they don't have to necessarily be all sweetness and light to make me feel that way (although generally they are). Some of the titles I enjoy include Harvest of Rubies and its sequel by Tessa Afshar, Only A Novel by Amy Dashwood (and The Rochesters), several books I've beta-read, and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. I read books like those in just a few hours, all the way through as fast as I can and then emerge dazed from the story world I was just in. I love that feeling.
- Great - I love great books. Great in the sense of a long epic story with an inspiring message and unforgettable cast of characters. Most of the classic books I read fall into this category. Bleak House, any of Jane Austen's books but especially Emma, Jane Eyre, Romeo & Juliet...the list could go on and on. Great books require more thinking than good books, and I usually spend several days reading them, instead of a few hours. They're the kind of books that university students dissect, but I don't read them for that. I read them because they're amazing books with great stories that can still teach relevant lessons for the day in which we live.
- Soul - The term 'soul book' can be difficult to explain, but if you've ever had one (or several), you know exactly what I'm talking about. Soul books are the ones that wrap around your heart and soul, as well as your mind, make you cry and laugh at the same time, and fill you with a sense of amazement every time you read them, no matter how many times you have before. The quote at the top of the post describes them perfectly, in my opinion. Everyone's soul books are different, but some people do share the same ones. Some of mine would be Les Miserables, Glimpses Of Truth by Jack Cavanaugh, the Selkin Series by Anne-girl, El Dorado by Baroness Orczy, A Tale Of Two Cities, and The Patriots by Jack Cavanaugh. There are others, but those are the main ones I can think of at the moment. Quite enough for starters, I should think.
Do you prefer Kindles or print books? Would you like to see another post like this for movies? What are some of your favorite books?
[p.s. I won NaNoWriMo yesterday. You can read more about it here.]