Okay, I confess . . . I did it . . . I bought bad books. Worse, as professional writer I know better.
No Bad Books, or Are There?
As an avid reader and prolific writer, I’m frequently conflicted when it comes to reading the work of other fiction authors. My initial reaction to works of fiction is, there are no bad books, with the exception of poorly produced books, due to poor editing, weak design, etc., etc. To be clear, some books should never see the inside of a Kindle. That said, I’ve come to realize there is an audience for literally everything professionally written. Ergo, no bad books. And yet when I say “bad” books, I’m not talking good, as in bad to the bone. I’m talking, wasting away on my Kindle or collecting dust on my headboard never to be finished.
So, you may ask, what the hell is this guy prattling on about?
We’re talking books from big time, bestselling authors such as: Stephen King, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, George Pelecanos, and Duane Swierczynski, to name a few. These are writers I admire and respect. How could they turn out bad books? Simple, really—bad for me. They just don’t grab me. Not my cup of tea. However you want to phrase it, they don’t work for me regardless of how well I enjoyed their other works, or how well other readers may like them. And hey, as a reader, I’m entitled to my opinions. So are you, even though your opinions may differ from mine. So, rather than attempt to foist my opinions on other readers, let’s revisit the book selection process.
What Not To Do When Selecting Books –
Forced to relive my transgressions every time I pick up one of these “bad” books, I’m compelled to share with other readers how to avoid similar mistakes.
- Disregard a writer’s reputation, some are well-deserved some are not, whether good or bad, bestseller or unknown.
- Don’t base your selection on other books you’ve read by an author. Too easy to get burned.
- Disregard professional reviews. They are slanted, and designed to be used solely, as promotional tools.
- Take reader reviews with a grain of salt. Like you, they have their own opinions and tastes which may differ greatly from yours.
- Read samples, first chapters, and excerpts to get a feel for the storyline and writing style. If it doesn’t grab you don’t go there.
The ONLY reason I have unfinished books lying around is the fact that I violated my own rules on book selection.
There is NO excuse to not enjoy what you read.
Your comments are always appreciated.
My mystery books Dark Side of Sunset Pointe, Flight of the Tarantula Hawk, and Grey Daze are available on Amazon. Cut-Throat Syndrome, the newest Lance Underphal Mystery/Thriller is in the editing phase and will be released later this year.
If you’re interested in my reading tastes, please join Michael Allan Scott on Goodreads for my reading lists and book reviews.
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Michael Allan Scott and a clickable link back to this page.