What is a book to a reader? Well, really a book symbolizes many different things to many different readers. It always fascinates me how we as humans can have so many different tastes and preferences. I happen to like fiction, specifically romances and mysteries, both with a good dose of suspense. But I know that a lot of people out there may prefer sci-fi or fantasy or maybe nonfiction. Truly the combinations can go on and on. And these days, I find many authors writing at the fringes and blending genres.
Still, I believe that many readers have common goals when they sit down to read a book. When a reader sits down to read a book they chose to read (and sometimes even when they haven’t chose it), many times they expect entertainment, enjoyment and perhaps a bit of an escape for a couple hours. Sometimes the books we read live up to these expectations and sometimes they don’t. For those that do, they tend to linger in our minds for a while, having a most profound effect on our thought processes. It really is an incredible feeling. For those books that don’t live up to our expectations, many will soon be forgotten.
As a reader transitioned to author, I have to admit my expectations have changed slightly. I still enjoy a good book and if anything, I more actively search for those types of books that will linger in my mind, yet I’ve definitely acquired a bit more of a discriminating eye. Not only do I catch the occasional grammatical error, but I pick up on whether the author is using deep pov or whether they tend to tell more than show. It can be awfully distracting if the book has a lot of these issues. And yet, as a newer author myself, I can also understand how difficult it is to produce quality work.
So what about you readers and/or writers out there, what great expectations do you have when it comes to books?