Reading is subjective. Readers bring their own feelings and past experience to any book they pick up. Hence each reader will have a different experience with your book.
The subjective nature of reading guarantee’s you can not please all the readers, all the time. As authors, we strive for the positive reviews and dread the negative ones. One negative review in a sea of positive should not be taken as a comment on your writing. It meant at this time, you didn’t attract that reader.
There have only ever been two books I made two attempts at reading. The Passage – Justin Cronin and The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. On the first attempt, I quit both after 100 pages. When I revisited them, I loved both of them and both have now made it into my top 10. The problem initially was the physical size of The Passage, once I swapped to Kindle I flew through the book. The Book Thief I revisited after someone told me it was death talking. Once I knew this, the book changed for me and I loved it.
Top 10 Book Lists.
If we study two top 10 lists we can see how subjective reading is as they are different in many areas.
If we look at these two lists we have further evidence of how subjective reading is. The important distinction is that the Waterstones list is compiled on the books sold. The Love Reading list is through the pure enjoyment of readers. Paula Hawkins made the Waterstone list as it is the sequel to the massive hit Girl on a Train. Reviews of this book have not been as favourable, which would count for the fact it is not on the Love Reading list.
Recently I found a discussion amongst other book reviewers. Do you give 1-star ratings to books when you review them? Many stated it wasn’t fair to leave a negative score as this could ruin an authors chances. I have to disagree and say that I would leave a 1-star rating but, I would still be constructive about the book. If I couldn’t finish it I would state that.
Reading is subjective and authors should know that before they publish their work.
What are your top 10 books?
Mine are as follows although I cheated by putting trilogies as one book. Forgive me but, I’m a bookworm and asking me to chose between some books, is like asking me to pick my favourite child.
- To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee (The reason my daughter is named Harper)
- Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (The only book I have read more than once)
- 1984 – George Orwell
- Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (Planning to re-read this soon)
- Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins (If I had to choose my fav would be Mockingjay)
- Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
- The Passage – Justin Cronin
- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
- The Stand – Stephen King