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