There are still a surprising number of people who feel shame when it comes to their reading choices. They may walk into their local bookstores and ask for a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (not knowing that it’s next to impossible to get in print in the US), but they will be hesitant to admit that they are reading it to their friends or family. It is for this very reason that so many women I know were early adopters of e-reading technology.
But reading, no matter the material, is not something of which anyone should be ashamed. There is no such thing as the right book. As a great man once said, “It’s not about what books you read. It’s about what books make you happy.” Those books are the right ones.
7 Signs You’re Reading the Right Books
1. You are not embarrassed to show people what you are really reading. This does not mean that they will not be embarrassed, but you can’t help that. The days of hiding books behind brown paper wrappers should be long behind us. I read my copy of Twilight in public, and I didn’t die from embarrassment.
2. Everyone wants to borrow the book as soon as you’re done with it. If people can see that you’re enjoying a book, they’ll want to read it, too. This gives you great power. You get to make sure that the right books get put in other people’s hands.
3. The book was written by an actual author and not a team of recent MFA graduates. There have been some wonderful collaborations put out in recent years, especially in the YA realm (Will Grayson, Will Grayson comes to mind). There are others (that I will not mention) that lack soul. These are the books that are churned out assembly line-style. They are flat and emotionless. No matter the name on the cover or what that writer produced in their early days, the magic is just not there anymore.
4. No one ever read it and had the thought, “That would make such a great movie!” Most readers have had their hearts broken by a film adaptation that didn’t live up to the book that inspired it. It’s probably just safer if no one even has the thought.
5. The book is not sold at your neighborhood grocery store. Sometimes, really good books can be found at the supermarket. Most of the time, though, the books found there are the ones I discussed in number 3. Or they are the remaindered remainders, books that just won’t sell, no matter how low the price goes. There’s a reason for that.
6. The staff at Barnes and Noble cannot find your book immediately. Those tables in the front? The end caps? They are, more often than not, paid placements. Just because a publisher pays to have a book put out where you can easily find it does not mean that it is the right book. It does not even mean that it is a good one. Often, the best books take a little effort to find.
7. It is not for sale on Amazon. Okay. This one is just me being bitchy.
Got any ideas for additions to the list? Don’t forget to share them in the comments below.