Thursday, June 1, 2017

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 2 - What Do Readers Want?

Armchair Book Expo 2017 Day 2 - What Do Readers Want?
Armchair Book Expo is a fun alternative to Book Expo America currently taking place in NYC! Can't make it to New York? Join us! You can find more details at ArmchairBEA.com

Had a blast at last night's Twitter party, so hope to make the one this afternoon! There were two options for today's topic and I chose this one:

What do reader's want?

What Do Readers Want?: What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story? What do we want from an author event? How does diversity representation fit into all of this?


While I don't claim to speak for all readers, I can tell you what I want (what I really, really want) in a book....a good plot with interesting characters.

If there isn't a decent plot, I don't care how interesting the characters or beautiful the writing, I'm outta there! I once put down a book with the most beautiful writing I've ever read, but I was bored out of my mind because nothing happened! Literally. I live a boring life, so why would I want to read about one? Next!

How Do I Rate Books?

My rating system is a straightforward 5 point system, but with the caveat that I only give a 5 to books that keep me up all night reading.

If I literally can't put a book down to go to bed, then it gets the coveted five! I've wavered on this a few times with books I've really loved, but if I don't stay up all night to finish it, it's downgraded to a four. 

A 4 means I really, really liked (loved!) the book. 

A 3 is a book I liked but didn't love.

A 2 means I finished reading the book, but didn't really care for the story for some reason.

While my 5's are rare, my 1 star reviews are even rarer because those are the books I couldn't finish. It took me years before I could put a book aside with no expectation that I'd ever finish it. A DNF book is still tough for me (because what if it gets better???), but there are too many books in my TBR pile to waste time on a bad book!

What Do I Want From An Author Event?

What I want from an author event is for the author to go to lunch with me, then become my new BFF and let me read their newest book over their shoulder as they write it! 

Too much?

Then I'd love to hear how an author puts together their story. Do they use post it notes? A storyboard? Plot out each chapter or write it freestyle? And some backstory on the main characters would be awesome too! Like a behind the scenes look or something. 

Still too much?

Then bookmarks. I'd like free bookmarks at all author events. Preferably autographed.

And pie.

Diversity Representation

Let's see...what's next? Diversity representation? I'll be honest with you, this doesn't really come into play for me. I'm not a visual reader so rarely have a picture in my head of what characters look like. I could tell you if the character is tough, kind, wimpy, sassy, etc, but would be hard-pressed to describe what they looked like.

I've read books with POC, but only know that because of the synopsis or it being discussed in the story. Hard to admit, but I can be a little oblivious at times (I have to be reminded that Zaphod Beeblebrox had two heads!).

Any Thoughts?

Am curious to hear how other readers rate books. Do you use a 5 or 10 point system or something else? I once saw a reviewer who used a 100 point system! Impressive, but way too complicated for me.

What are your thoughts on half points? I've thought about using half points, but decided to keep it as simple as possible.

How about author events? Isn't it reasonable to expect authors to become our BFFs? They need us, right? Totally reasonable if you ask me....

And now, this...



c'mon, you totally knew I was going to post this!

22 comments:

  1. Too stubborn not to finish a book, I guess its going to take me even longer before I too can put a book aside unfinished.

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    1. It's hard for me to not finish a book and you're probably right that stubbornness plays a part, but since I'm in danger of being buried by my ginormous TBR stacks, I need to learn to DNF books more often!

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  2. Thank you for the Spice Girls - just made my day! Wonderful post!

    http://cover2coverblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/armchair-book-expo-day-2-wants.html

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    1. You can never go wrong with the Spice Girls!

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  3. I also use a 5-point system. There are times when a book feels somewhere in between and I wish I used half-ratings, but I just fins it easier to lean on way because Amazon and Goodreads use the 5-point system too. Great post!
    My Armchair Book Expo post

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    1. You're right that a full point system is easier. Plus, I'm lazy so the simpler, the better! lol

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  4. My rating system is very similar to yours. 5 stars ? I better have fallen off my unicorn. Most my reviews get a 3 star - decent good read - rating. Which is hard to translate to an Amazon review ha.

    Julie @ Chapter Break

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    1. Most of my reviews seem to get 4 stars, but I love your 5 star description of falling off your unicorn! Great way to put it!

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  5. Totally not crazy to want to be BFFs with authors. There are some that I just know I'd get along with perfectly. Your rating system sounds very similar to mine. Only I don't rate a book if I didn't finish it. One stars are for books that tricked me into finishing them in the hopes that the ending saved them but it doesn't. Fun answers to fun questions.

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    1. Thanks Jenny! And I love that your one stars are for books that trick you into finishing them. Those nasty tricksters! ha!

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  6. Ha! Love the Spice Girls!! :) I still use a 5 point rating system. Giving 5 stars is very rare for me, and a 2 star is still okay in my book. It's the 1 stars and DNF's that are mostly negative for me!

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    1. The Spice Girls will always have a special place in my heart! :)

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  7. I love character-driven stories. I'll put up with a problematic plot if I really like the characters. You can read more about what I want and ways I collaborate

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    1. Interesting characters are definitely a must, but I've found I really need a good plot too!

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  8. You and I use very similar rating systems. My 1 star reviews also equal a DNF. A local book store that just closed used to always serve carrot and zucchini cake at author events (a weird local recipe — it's a Hayward thing).

    Armchair Book Expo day 2: What do readers want? and Collaboration

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    1. Oh, I love the idea of a bookstore serving snacks during author events! I've never heard of carrot and zucchini cake, but it must be good if it's a local tradition! :)

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  9. I use half points sometimes.....usually if it's a book that I almost loved more than others but something slightly fell short.

    Armchair BEA Cafinated Reads Day 2

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    1. That's why I'm on the fence about using half points...some books are really good, but not quite worthy of 5 stars. I'll probably keep my system the same as I don't want to have to redo everything. Too lazy! ha!

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  10. I live a boring life... why do I want to read about one? I loved this, lol... so true! #getsocial17

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    1. I know, right? Funny, but true. Thanks for stopping by, Dani!

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  11. I use the five-star rating system, but I know lots of bloggers don't care for the whole rating game. It's just each writer/reader's personal preference and that's all that matters. :)

    "I live a boring life..."

    LOL! ME TOO! That's what I always say about my life. Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful, but yeah, I don't do anything exciting. My books are my armchair adventures, and I love it. :)

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    1. Glad that I'm not the only one! ha! And while I do love reading about adventures, I don't think I'd actually want to live them. Think I'll keep my boring life and just read about exciting ones!

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