What makes a good book

I stayed up way too late reading last night. We were all in bed before nine (as a product of ridiculous work hours and sharing a room with our toddler, this happens more often than not), but I kept my light on to read.

(The lamp keeps Sylvia up and bothers Travis, so I’ve rigged up my e-reader light to shine on my real book so it’s not so bright. My e-reader might be the most expensive nightlight ever.)

Reading is what I want to do when I have downtime. Books, preferably. I like magazines and websites too, but too much time with either of them and I start to feel anxious or unproductive – as if I should hurry to the kitchen and make that fabulous recipe or organize my desk kitchen table to look like that cute home office on the glossy page. (Trust me, as soon as I HAVE a home office I’ll be organizing the hell out of it, but for now my notes are stashed in stacks of index cards and I have just one binder for three major projects).

I also get a huge kick out of the “STEALS! Finds for under $100!” features in magazines (Real Simple, I’m looking at you) because, um, $99 is not a steal unless you’re talking a taxes-in all-inclusive round-trip to Easter Island.

But books don’t make me feel inadequate (except as a writer) or anxious (unless it’s on behalf of one of the characters).

There are people who get reading, and people who don’t. Travis finally gets it, insofar as he has stopped asking me a billion questions when I’ve got my nose in a book. But when I’m sobbing through a final chapter he’ll wryly ask, “good book?”

If it’s making me cry or laugh out loud or stay up past midnight, or if the book is propped open on the counter while I make supper? It’s probably a good book.

I recommend Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Actually, I was given this book by a friend who was purging her stash, and I’ll happily pass it along to anybody who would like a good read. Let me know in the comments below. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Call it The Sheds’ mail-service book club!

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3 responses to “What makes a good book

  1. Was about to say that I loved that book! Then realized that I was the one that gave it to you…right. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Of course I don’t mind! Good books should be getting read, not be sitting around on shelves.

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