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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Because I Haven't Really Done A Post About Books Before...

Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it. ~ Markus Zusak   Sadly, such books are extremely rare! - Quotes from books and quotes about books - Quora
...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.]


Caroline L. said...

Hi Eva!

Though I've never vocalized or labeled them like you have, I do mentally categorize the books I read (and movies too). But I like how you have an actual scale!

Yes, I've got a Kindle. I bought it for school, to cut down on book costs, but I have actually grown to love it very much (and even name it. I call him Clive. Actually, this is Clive.2, since the first Clive died). I adore getting all these free books for my kindle (kind has SO many free ebooks! That's where I was able to get all the Pimpernel books). And audio books from library. And how I can have 300 books with me on one, lightweight device. So cool. Of course, I still do prefer print books. They are easier and pleasanter to read, but not as cheap or convenient for travel.

And definitely do a post like this on movies! That would be great.

Some of my favorite books? Anything Dickens or Austen or Wodehouse. And throw in Tolkien. I'm finishing up Les Miserables for the first time -- INCREDIBLE. I also like to read history textbooks because I'm a proud history nerd, and it's just plain fun.

And congrats on achieving your writing goal!!!

Eva said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that my Kindle has a name too - Emma. It has a bright pink cover and I just thought the name fit :) And it's because of her that I was able to read every single TSP book (yay! Sir Percy is really the bestest, isn't he?). And I'm always on the lookout for different free books. In fact, probably about eighty percent of the book on my Kindle were gotten for free (free domain, you know).

You're reading Les Miserables for the first time? Go you! It's an amazing book, isn't it? Oh, I love history as well. Pretty much any time period, no matter what country can hold my interest. I'm a huge geek when it comes to history. And I enjoyed writing this post so much that I'll definitely do one for movies. Probably very soon :)

Jennifer said...

I love my Kindle - never thought I would like one, but I literally don't leave the house without mine. I love print books still, but my Kindle holds a big piece of my affection.
I love biographies and memoirs. Reading how people overcome the difficulties in life really inspires me to not whine about hard times in my life. I also love books about Asia. I'm not sure where this came from, but I've read numerous books about life in that part of the world.

Rose P said...

First of all - love that picture in the top. That was precisely that feeling I had when I read Les Miserables.

And that's a good way to categorize books (funny coincidence - I just did a post myself of how I categorize the books I have read, and which ones are my all time favourites)

Ooh..and I would love to hear your take on movies too.

Caroline L. said...

Yes. Percy is a paragon of wonderfulness. I nearly swoon when I read about him. And don't get me started on Anthony Andrews!

Yup! My first time through Les Mis. It is SO fascinating. My favorite parts so far have been Valjean's rescuing little Cosette from the Thenardiers and the description of all the les amis.

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