A boy reading a book

Is Your Book Any Good?

The eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume said that when we think about art, we should take care not to confuse the question, “Do I like it?” with the question, “Is it good?” This idea is worth considering when you judge the next book that you read.

After all, what makes a book good? How do you know you’re reading something that’s worth your time? Well, you may or may not like what you’re reading, but that doesn’t change whether it’s good or not. There are objective criteria that make a work of literature “good.”

Think about it. How important is conflict in a story? Without conflict, there’s no reason to turn the page and keep reading. So, conflict, when used correctly, is a requirement for good storytelling. Now, you may not like the conflict in your book, but that doesn’t make the book bad.

It just means that you don’t like it. Something to chew on for the day.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.


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