Working in a library, one of my jobs is to weed out the books that don’t circulate. I am not going to lie, there are some books that just collect dust on the shelves that I wonder why they don’t circulate, and then there are those that do circulate and I wonder why they do. The difference is the literary quality. Quite honestly, it is the books that don’t have the greatest of quality to them that circulate and the classics and well-written books that collect the dust. This I found to be an interesting concept. Upon this find, I felt compelled to study the market just a little better. When it comes to books, what sells?
Quite honestly it is the cheap stuff that sells. No, I’m not just talking about the trashy romance 50 cent paperbacks. (Not intending to offend anyone.) I’m talking that in today’s society, sex sells. This is not just with books, but with TV, movies, and really entertainment in general. Of what worth is that? So, it might get some hormones going for a little while. But in 50 years, these books are probably going to be on the weed list – not circulating.
I love this quote by Ben Franklin:
Are those books really worth reading?
In high school It was required of me to read so many classics per year. This was something that I wasn’t a fan of, that is until I realized just how much these classics (not all of them, but some) is written with high literary quality. The best have a timeless moral to them. I wouldn’t want to find my book on the weed list in 50 years.
I have a challenge for you writers and authors. Try what this quote says and set the new standard: great literary quality with a strong story-line and don’t get bogged down in the stuff that just trashes your story. Do you know how distracting that is to your story? No one is going to remember your plot when all they can think about is the all too detailed love scenes.
Write something worth reading.
What is worth reading? Well, what is your purpose in writing? Your purpose in writing should be to inspire something great in your readers. Fiction or nonfiction, let your writing call your reader into action. I can list several books that have done this for me and will give a few examples (although there are much more!) of both fiction and nonfiction :
Sold by Patricia McCormick – This book brought to my attention the severity of the injustice of the world-wide issue of human trafficking and moved me to action to raise awareness and to support the groups out there that are raising awareness and fighting this injustice.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – A powerful novel that will shake you to the core with it’s very well crafted and real story displaying unconditional love. A personal favorite! I don’t believe I can fully explain how this book has moved me to action, I recommend you read for yourself and find out!
Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex & Brett Harris – This book showed me that I could be more than what was expected of me and called me to action in the causes that I believed in but didn’t believe that I could make a difference in.
The 11 Secrets of Getting Published by Mary DeMuth – The book showed me so much about the publishing process from the planning to the writing and even includes some do’s and dont’s! This book for me was an invaluable resource! (Thank you, Mary! This book has indeed helped on my publishing journey!)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey – “He who leads and no one follows is merely taking a walk” – David Thomas. This books taught wonderful leadership principles. It expresses what a true leader is and helped me to structure myself in such a way that enabled me to work in excellence in everything that I do. I highly recommend this book!
What kind of books inspire you or motivate you? I challenge you to write with purpose, and if you can’t write something worth reading, then live something worth writing.
Everyone has a story to tell – one that you can only live once. Make yours a best-seller!
Feel free to share your thoughts!