What Makes A Book A Favourite? | Discussion Thursday

What Makes A Book A Favourite? | Discussion Thursday

What Makes A Book A Favourite?

Hello bookworms and welcome back. It’s Thursday and you know that recently, I’ve paved the path to introducing this weekly feature in which every Thursday, I discuss a topic – bookish or otherwise. I am open to suggestions of topics to discuss, so please feel free to give me some ideas in the comments. 
Now, back to the topic of discussion. What makes a book a favourite? Like honestly, what? We make lists of our favourite books of the year, or our top favourite books of all time, but how exactly do we distinguish these books as favourites? Let’s discuss…

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I put quite a few books labelled as ‘favourites’ and there are many of which I added to the list of favourites that I just only read this year. This includes: The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and quite a few more that honestly, I cannot pull out from the top of my head at the moment. But you get the gist of it, and I’m sure many of you may be nodding your head thinking yep, those are on my favourites list too! But let me ask you… how do you know these are your favourite books exactly? What makes them so different from every other book you’ve read?

I can think of many reasons for my distinction of these books and others as favourites. Of course, if I’ve given it a 5 stars, they are a favourite. I guess, the things that make a book a favourite come from very similar things to a book review. We look for certain elements that we want to be written well in a story. We want great, engaging characters that are interesting and always entertaining to read about. We want gripping, exciting and well thought out plots that will keep us on our toes, or will keep us from ever wanting to put the book down until it’s finished. We want beautiful, capturing writing styles that will leave us feeling a little breathless by it’s cohesiveness and flow.

At least, that’s what I look for.

For a book to be a favourite, it’s gotta meet the expectations in all areas and elements. For me personally, the make or break it for me is the characters. If your book can’t get me to engage with the characters or feel true emotions towards them, you might as well just take the book back because I most likely will not like it. The plot comes next. I need to be pulled in. I want to genuinely be involved in whatever is going on in the story, I want to feel as if I need to read on. And when books make me feel this way, there’s a guarantee of it becoming a favourite. Writing style? It always helps when the writing is cohesive, flows well and is even beautifully crafted. Bonus points for writing style.

But also there’s another question that plays upon my mind when it comes to making a book a ‘favourite’. How can we possibly label different genre-type books as favourites, all in the same category? They all have certain elements within the aspects of characters, plot and writing style that equate to it being a great book for their specific genre. So what is it that makes it so that we can put books of different genre’s all into the same category?

I’ll tell you what. When a book gives you true and genuine feelings that leave you wanting more, or leave you absolutely exhilarated and amazed. When a book can leave an imprint on your mind. When a book lingers in your mind long after you’ve read it and moved on to pick up another. Books of any genre can make you feel this way if it’s to be a potential favourite. Don’t tell me you haven’t felt this way with a book. Don’t deny it!


That is all for this week’s topic of discussion. Please discuss with me, as this is what this post is all about!

What kind of things makes a book a favourite to you?

Do you agree with the things I said? What’s the most important thing that determines a book being on your ‘favourites’ list?

~ josiethebookworm xoxo

38 responses to “What Makes A Book A Favourite? | Discussion Thursday”

  1. XD LOVE this discussion topic, Josie!! I totally agree on everything you said here. The characters are definitely one of the most important factors that play in my mind when I decided whether a book is a favorite or not. And the plot too, even if the characters are interesting and tug at my heart, if the plot doesn’t interest me, the story might not stay with me for long. If a book has bad characters, it prevents me from enjoying both the story AND the characters, which means two negative factors in enjoying a story, and in most cases, only a good writing style wouldn’t be enough to make me enjoy the book, enough to make it a favorite, at least. The writing style is important to me, but if a book had great characters and interesting plot, I’ll probably be able to overlook it if a book has a okay-ish or bad writing style.
    Anyway, this was a great discussion topic! 🙂 You made some awesome points. ❤ Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I’m so glad that you like this topic! Writing style is definitely one of those things that is more of a bonus. I love it when a book has beautiful writing but most of the time I am happy with just average writing, as long as it’s gripping and not overdoing it of frilliness.
      Sometimes a plot that is better than the characters can be great, but this is on rare occasions for me.

      Thank you, and happy reading to you too! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read A Monster Calls this months, too, and it totally became a favorite! For me, that completely falls to writing style. I can’t think of anyone with as masterful a writing style as Patrick Ness. For me, all a favorite needs to become a favorite is emotion. Whether it’s surprise (which is the most common case) sadness or joy, if a book can make me FEEL something, it’s golden. I spent the entire Monsters of Men book internally going “Oh no!” It’s my all time favorite book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Patrick Ness’s writing style can be compared to none! The story still plays in my mind today.
      Emotion is a big part of it all. I agree with you, if a book makes me feel something and makes me feel it strongly, its a definite win indeed. I’m going to be reading The Knife of Never Letting Go this month! (That’s part of the series you’re talking about, am I right?) xoxo

      Like

  3. Characters are extremely important to me, but it is a great combination with plot/setting/world building and writing that makes it a favorite. Though I have had books that I added to my favorites months later as the book wouldn’t leave my head, despite not even rating the book 5 stars at the time. So a book that remains memorable even after a lengthy while.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m such a character person, honestly – I think it’s always the people that make books my favourite. But also, I have to agree with Ms. Messenger; there are SO many elements that come together to make me rate a book five stars. I think that’s one of the loveliest things about books – they’re so diverse, and they have different strengths and weaknesses. Truly, it’s about exploring the ones that make our hearts flutter the most, for whatever reason it might be. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, definitely. Without great characters there is usually a downfall in the book.
      I agree, most definitely all books are individuals and can be considered great for their own personal traits! xoxo

      Like

  5. Trying to determine what makes a book a favorite is kind of like trying to determine what makes a person a favorite. Each book is different, unique, and enjoyable in different ways. But in using this analogy, I’d say a favorite book, like a favorite person: “gets” me; is a joy to spend time with; makes me smile; teaches me; expands my awareness; surprises me in the best ways; makes life more interesting; is a pleasure to spend time with; and is someone I remember fondly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, YES! I love that analogy and it fits perfectly with the idea of making a book a favourite. Just like people, books are individually unique and the elements that make them a favourite to us are of course slightly different for each book. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well-written characters are what usually makes the books. Even with just a mediocre plot, it can salvage the entire story…well if you’re the type who likes character driven stories. Characters with depth are the best. After that I take into consideration the world-building and then the prose. But I also think about the overall experience of reading the book. It’s when you’re not satisfied and is eager for more because you don’t want the book to end. That’s what I would consider a favorite book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I basically nodded at every point you made. I’m extremely character driven, so I need depth and colour to my characters and seeing them grow. World building and prose are definitely important especially in fantasy novels.
      Reading experience is the most important t also! Sometimes there are books that have pretty mediocre plots, writing style, etc. But I still end up loving it.
      Thanks for stopping by! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. If the characters are interesting, then the book is automatically good for me. Well then it’s the world building and finally the writing style. Magonia for example lacked in characters and writing style so I didn’t enjoy it. Great post idea btw. Have you ever considered hosting an event?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I completely agree with you. The characters have got to be fantastic, otherwise I’m not interested. The characters really are what hook me as a serial reader. And they need to grow as the series progresses. That’s what drives me crazy about Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels – zero character growth which results in stale storytelling.

    Great post! I also wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition award, if you haven’t done it already.

    http://hiddenstaircase.net/2015/07/09/the-blogger-recognition-award/

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you agree! Characters are truly a male or break thing. Character development is extremely important as well!
      Thank you for nominating me, however I have already done this award, thank you! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m definitely a character-reader, too! 😀 But also, some books can become favourites because of the memories we associate with them, even if they don’t meet all of the criteria we’d usually look for in a more recent favourite… A lot of the books I read when I was younger I still consider favourites for mostly nostalgic reasons…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Someone who is also a character reader, yay!
      Oh yeah I totally agree with that. I know there are also books of mine that if people read now, at an older age would critically rate down but I still consider them favourites. A great point! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hmm…. When you don’t want to part with it, When you don’t want the story to end, books that’s got a perfect plot with well built characters that you absolutely loved knowing them.Books that even after re-reading it you’ll never get sick of it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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