Armchair Book Expo Day 2: What Readers Want & Collaboration

Armchair Book Expo

Armchair Book Expo Day 2:

What Readers Want & Collaboration

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, what makes a book:

  • very good style: beautiful and diversity of sentences (not all built on the same grammar mode – I have seen that!!), rich vocabulary, lively and true to life dialogs

  • unexpected twists

  • original plot

  • for audiobooks: a narrator that makes you believe he/she’s telling a story, not reading it to you; who uses different voices and accents for the characters

For me, what breaks a book:

  • same type of plot in the different books of a series

  • pace not matching the genre – fine with very slow uneventful book if it’s literary fiction, but not for a thriller, for instance

  • too many f* words and the like

  • too many typos, especially when trying to insert French words or expressions!

  • for audiobooks: dull voice, dull intention; voice sounding too old or too young for the main character; mispronunciation of French words (please professional, do your homework!)

  • the cover sometimes! Some marketers focus on a type of cover which is totally unappealing to me and makes me want to flee, whereas when I discover what it’s about, I’m interested


  • Right now, diversity for me means access to more foreign literature. More and more presses are trying to publish books in translation, I think it’s getting better. When I read books related to 52 countries for a special challenge, I discovered how rich it can be to perceive the difference of style between authors of various countries.

Let’s Collaborate & Listen: The online book community has changed so much over the years. How do we keep up within our own book-sphere as well as within the community as a whole (i.e., libraries, bookstores, authors, publishers, etc.)?

Personally, right now, I focus on:

  • visiting other blogs – though I have not done much recently

  • social media – mostly Twitter.  A bit Instagram, Youtube, Facebook

  • a few local bookstores

  • the book club I founded; and sometimes book clubs at my local library









16 thoughts on “Armchair Book Expo Day 2: What Readers Want & Collaboration

  1. Sometimes it can feel like the same plot is being recycled over and over again. I definitely like it when we pick up a book that’s truly unique. I’ve only listened to one audiobook, so I don’t have too much experience, but do you ever find yourself rating a book lower because of the narrator or can you separate the story from said narrator?


    • Yeah, especially in some series, the author is too predictable…
      Audiobook rating: good question. I mostly rate the book itself, but if the audio performance is terrible, I won’t give a 5, for sure. In my reviews of audiobooks, I always make a special section for the audio performance, so I can explain there the difference between content and audio quality.
      Also, after a few bad experiences, I now NEVER check out an audiobook before listening to an excerpt before. I don’t use Audible, way too expensive, but I go there to listen to excerpts, no need of login for that. And usually you have several narrators for the same book. so I do that, and then I request at my library the one with the best narrator.
      Also, I listen to a lot of audios through Hoopla (a free service offered by many US publica libraries). They often have several narrators for the same book, so I look on audible to choose the best of the ones available on hoopla. That’s how I ended up choosing Simon Prebble to listen to the complete works of Sherlock Holmes. He’s fantastic

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting point about audiobooks – I don’t listen to them but I think having someone narrate as if they’re really telling a story, not just reading it, would make a significant difference in my enjoyment of the audiobook.


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