A good book, to me, is one that moves me to feel something and care about the characters.
I’m growing tired of silly labels on good books. Occasionally, categorization becomes derogatory, and that is when I begin to feel ranty. For instance, YA fiction is just fiction written in a different manner. The title does not make it less good or less worthy of discussion, it simply means that it’s probably relatively clean and not incredibly difficult to read. As with all forms of literature, there are giant black marks marring the good name of YA fiction, but those black marks do not make the entire genre invalid. I’ve read children’s books that moved me a great deal, however, I would also readily read them to my own little goblins. I’ve read classics that I found vapid and dull to no end.
Along the same lines as YA fiction, the Romance category has received much derision. I’ve read my fair share of terrible romance novels– books with no plot or purpose. I’ve also read my fair share of romance novels that had interesting story lines.
Good literature is just good literature, it knows not the bounds of bookstore categorization or petty elitism by readers.
There is, of course, room for taste. There are books that I find detestable that others greatly enjoy. I do not mind that people enjoy different things. I do mind that due simply to genre sorting or title, some books are easily dismissed along with those that choose to read them.