Whilst compiling a list of my favourite 2011 books I noticed a strange thing. Many of the books I remembered vividly were ones I hadn’t enjoyed, whilst I often forgot about the seamlessly good ones. Re-reading my reviews produced some interesting findings. I seem to remember the books with an excessive number of coincidences, or characters that behave in unrealistic manner, far more than those with accurately observed ones.
I also noticed that I was more likely to recommend these books to others. I’d always warn them about the unrealistic aspects of the book, but state that it was worth reading anyway.
Meanwhile the beautifully written books quickly faded from my mind; the plots so ordinary that there was nothing to jog the memory afterwards. My reviews reminded me about the clarity of the writing and the perfect plotting, but although I enjoyed every minute of the reading experience, these books do not seem to live on after the final page has been turned and so I have not gone on to recommend them.
Longevity is often thought of as a sign of quality, so does this mean that the annoying books are the best?
Should a beautiful, but quickly forgotten book, be marked down for its inability to stand out from the crowd?