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What is the difference between a good book and a bad book?
Have you ever picked up a book that left you feeling like you wasted your time? Or have you ever finished a book and thought to yourself, “Wow, that was amazing!”? Well, we all have, and that’s why today we’re going to talk about the difference between a good book and a bad book.
Before we get into the exact books, let’s chat about what makes a book good or bad. A good book is one that really speaks to you, sticks with you, and makes your life better in some way. A bad book, on the other hand, doesn’t do any of those things and leaves you feeling kinda meh or worse you DNF (do not finish.
You might be wondering, what’s the big deal if a book is good or bad?
Knowing the difference between a good and bad book is important because it can save you time and money, and it can help you become a better reader.
By recognizing what makes a book good or bad, you can make smarter choices about what to read. So, grab your favorite cozy blanket, and let’s dive in!
What is a good book?
So, what makes a book good? To start with it needs to have an awesome plot that keeps you hooked and wanting to know what’s going to happen next. It’s the sort of book you can’t put down because you’re just dying to find out what happens at the end. Plus, the characters need to be really interesting and relatable so you can connect with them on a personal level.
These characters feel like real people, and you find yourself rooting for them throughout the story. A good book also has a clear and effective writing style that makes it easy to read and understand. But it’s not just about the writing – a good book also has unique and creative themes that make it stand out from other books in its genre.
And finally, a great book will leave you with meaningful, thought-provoking messages that linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading. These are just a few of the qualities that make a book really good.
What are the characteristics of a bad book?
So, now we’ve talked about what makes a good book, let’s take a look at what makes a bad book. Basically, it’s all about the plot. You know the type: you can pretty much guess the ending way before you even finish the book, and it just doesn’t keep you interested.
In addition to a weak plot, a bad book also has flat and uninteresting characters that don’t leave a lasting impression. The writing style and grammar of a bad book are often poor, making it difficult to read and understand.
Bad books usually have unoriginal, cliché themes that lack any real depth or creativity. Sure, it’s fine to have popular tropes like enemies to lovers, but you can’t just throw a bunch of them together in a haphazard way. Most importantly, a bad book doesn’t have any real meaning or relevance, so the reader ends up feeling disappointed and unfulfilled.
So, what separates a good story from a bad story? Well, it all comes down to the execution. A good story takes these characteristics and elevates them to create a memorable and impactful reading experience, while a bad story falls short in one or more areas.
Cult favorite good books
1️⃣ Harry Potter Series
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series follows the adventures of young wizard Harry Potter, and his pals Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, as they attend Hogwarts and battle dark forces. Harry is famous for surviving an attack by the evil Lord Voldemort as a baby. The series follows them as they face challenges, uncover secrets, and strive to defeat Voldemort and restore peace. With themes of friendship, courage, and good vs. evil, it’s become a beloved classic.
🤩 Why you need to read this: This is one of the series that cemented my love of reading! It is an amazing book (even if you have read it 5 times through 😅) and is a cornerstone of the difference between a good book and a bad book.
2️⃣ The Alchemist
This is a modern classic that follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, as he searches for a worldly treasure and discovers riches far different than he expected. Along the way, he learns valuable lessons about listening to his heart, recognizing opportunity, and following his dreams.
🤩 What I loved about it: This book will inspire you to chase after your dreams and to seize the day you gave been gifted with.
3️⃣ The Dairy Of A Young Girl
This book is a classic memoir showing the difference between a good book and a bad book. It gives us a real, up-close look at what life was like for a young girl in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. She dealt with her family, her changing feelings, and being around other people in the Secret Annex – all while dealing with hunger, fear of being found out, and the ever-looming fear of death.
🤩 Why you need to read it: If you never read this in grade school then now is the time! This book is an amazing piece of literature and history.
4️⃣ Ordinary Grace
In this book, we follow thirteen-year-old Frank Drum as he discovers the harsh truths and tragedies of the adult world in ’61 Minnesota. As he reflects on his experiences decades later, the story highlights the challenges of growing up and the power of God’s grace.
🤩 Why you should read it: This book is full of beautiful prose and a unique writing style that will have you feeling every emotion that Frank goes through. A truly spectacular historical fiction novel.
5️⃣ The Silent Patient
The Silent Patient is a totally gripping psychological thriller that has everyone talking about it. It’s a domestic tragedy turned epic, when a woman shoots her husband and suddenly stops talking. A criminal psychotherapist is determined to get her to open up and figure out the mystery, but it’s not an easy task and he’s in danger of getting lost in his own quest for the truth.
🤩 What I loved about it: You will binge-read this in one day and be floored by the ending!
6️⃣ Things We Never Got Over
Knox, a barber who prefers to be alone, meets Naomi, a runaway bride who has come to Knockemout, Virginia to help her estranged twin. When her twin abandons her, Naomi is left with no car, no job, no home, and an 11-year-old niece she didn’t know she had. Knox reluctantly helps her out of her jam, but soon finds himself in a situation of real danger.
🤩 Why you should read it: One of the best romances from 2022 that you have to read if you love this genre!
Unanimously voted bad books
1️⃣ The Lair of the White Worm
The same author who wrote the literary masterpiece of Dracula also wrote this very weird fantasy horror book. It is about a traveler who seeks to reconnect with family while a mysterious White Worm lurks, waiting and watching. In the background, a green light glows from the bottom of a hidden well and a kite drives a man to madness.
❌ Why you should avoid this book: It is as strange as it sounds and has been wildly accepted as a bad book. Not every book will be a success, even if you are Bram Stoker.
2️⃣ Mein Kampf
Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, details his life story from his impoverished upbringing in Austria to his failed coup attempt in Munich and his plans for rebuilding Germany and conquering Europe. It is a chilling insight into the mind of a man who would go on to destabilize world peace and pursue the genocide known as the Holocaust.
❌ Why this book is awful: This book is poorly written, promotes racism, and an evil propaganda/military scheme that ultimately killed millions of people.
It goes without saying that any books that support this should not be read.
3️⃣ Revealing Eden
In this post-apocalyptic world, it’s all about who can survive the heat. Eden Newman has to find a partner before she turns eighteen or she’s done for. But she has it tough with her white skin (yes, the author went there) and low chances of finding someone. She has to save her dad, who just may be humanity’s last chance at salvation while going up against this powerful beast-man and changing her views on beauty and love.
❌ Why you shouldn’t read it: This book is so poorly researched and written I’m not surprised that it has such a low star rating. The blatant racism and stereotypes that were put in this book are horrifying. This is the definition of the difference between a good book and a bad book. Go read the 1-star reviews if you want to see in-depth how terrible this book is.
4️⃣ Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff
Bob Honey is a modern American man, entrepreneur, and part-time assassin who struggles to find his place in a society that values branding over being. He sells septic tanks to Jehovah’s Witnesses and arranges pyrotechnic displays for dictators, while also working as an assassin for a secret CIA program that “gets rid of” the elder and infirm. When a nosy journalist begins to ask questions, Bob must decide if it’s a chance for friendship or the start of his downfall.
❌ Why it’s awful: This stream-of-consciousness style of writing is disjointed with random “intelligent” words thrown in that make it very difficult to read.
5️⃣ The Eye of Argon
Grignr, the foul-mouthed barbarian, is trying to break out of the dungeons of Evil Overlord Agaphim and save Carthena from a pagan cult who wants to sacrifice her to their one-eyed idol, “The Eye of Argon.” Yes, it’s as cheesy as you can aspect from a 16-year-old writer.
❌ Why you should avoid this book: The quality of this book is beyond sub-par. The grammar and use of language are atrocious, but despite all of this it is still widely popular in the science fiction community. Read at your own risk.
What separates a good story from a bad story?
In conclusion, we’ve looked into what separates a good story from a bad story. A good book will stay with you, with a plot that’s captivating, characters that are engaging, and writing that’s clear and effective. On the other hand, a bad book might have a predictable plot, flat characters, poor writing, and themes that have been done before.
But why does it matter? Good books can really add something to our lives, helping us to grow and inspiring us. They can teach us things, make us more understanding, and even change our views.
So, when you’re looking for something to read, keep in mind what makes a book great, and make the right choice. Utilize reviews on Goodreads or Amazon to get a better idea if a book will be a good fit for you as a reader. Good books can really have a positive effect on our lives, so let’s make the most of it.
At the end of the day, what I think is a great book, someone else says that it’s terrible. Don’t get too caught up in what everyone else is doing but use sound judgment and the list of criteria above to decide if the book is good or bad. Books are powerful and the stories we read can really change us. So, let’s keep reading, keep learning, and keep exploring the amazing world of literature. Enjoy!