Armchair Book Expo 2017: Day 2 – What Do Readers Want?


Welcome to Armchair Book Expo!

This is the eighth annual Armchair Book Expo, and this is EFC’s fourth year participating! We are so excited to take part again this year!


Day 2

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? 

For me, a good story is one that keeps me reading. If I can’t put the book down or can’t wait until I have the next free chance to read more, then it’s a good read. If it’s a book I can put down, walk away from, and not want/have to pick it up, then for me it’s not a very good story.

As for rating a book, I have many factors that run through my head while I’m trying to choose the star rating. Some of the factors I consider are: Was the book well written? Was the story good? Were the characters developed? Did the story make me feel any emotions? Did I want to read it every free chance I had? Did I like/relate/hate the characters? (I don’t always have to like the characters to like a book. If the story is good, then sometimes my like/dislike of the characters doesn’t matter.) Did I think about the book after I finished reading it? These factors are not all or nothing. They aren’t even mandatory. They are just a few things I think about while writing a review and rating a book.

At EFC, we use a 5-star rating system, but let’s be honest: it’s all a big subjective jumble anyway. I even disagree with myself about book ratings depending on my mood. Sometimes I don’t WANT to read the next great classic novel–I just want a frivolous break from reality that doesn’t make me think too much. Sometimes I want deep, flowing, intense prose. Sometimes not. The books that get the highest ratings from me are, I think, the ones that most closely match the mood I’m in when I read them. I suppose I have a vague rubric for every book–if it’s poorly written or poorly edited, it’s obviously going to lose some stars, but the beautiful thing about art is that you can love it (or hate it) for a pile of different reasons and they’re all valid. Unless you haven’t edited enough, of course. Then: NO STARS FOR YOU!

What about you? What makes a book “good” in your opinion? Do you have factors you consider when rating a book?

Here is the link to the link-up of the participating blogs for What Readers Want and Collaboration.



  1. Great post! I have been forcing myself to be more aware of how I feel about a book when I put it down. If I have no interest in picking it back up after a break, I have been DNFing. 🙂

    • I’ve been DNFing lately, too. I won’t give up completely if I DNF’d it because I just wasn’t in the mood for that type of read. But if it just wasn’t a good story, then I DNF and not try again later. 😉
      ~ Chrissy

  2. Mood is such a HUGE part of reviewing and rating! I completely understand!

  3. Pussreboots says:

    Although I do rate a book on Goodreads right after I finish it, I wait a day at least before writing the review. If my initial gut reaction rating has changed as I’ve had time to think about the book, I will go back and alter the rating. Sometimes up. Sometimes down.

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

  4. I don’t do the rating thing on my blog (I do assign stars on Goodreads because I hate leaving a column blank) because it is too arbritary. I rather know why a book was great. You can read more about what I want and ways I collaborate

  5. Rating a book is hard sometimes! It’s like does this book REALLY deserve a 5 star rating or a 4.5 or a 4? Why? Why not? It’s truly hard. But, I love to use the star ratings. They really work for me.

    Thanks for sharing your post!

    Armchair BEA Cafinated Reads Day 2