Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Two kinds of books

There's a great Duke Ellington quote: “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.” It's not a matter of genre, or style, or who's doing it. Music, according to Ellingon, was either good or bad. That was the only distinction that needed to be made.

As someone who reads as a career, I would have to say that the same rule of "two kinds" applies to books. There are good books, and there are the other kind. A good book can be any genre, any style, any author. You don't know until you start reading it, but the minute you do, you are absolutely certain. The book is either good, or it's the other kind. That's probably why we pursue variety in Select Editions. We never know what kind of book is going to be good, and we are looking for the good books anywhere and everywhere we can find them. Mysteries, thrillers, love stories, family sagas, historicals—it doesn't matter. Good books, and the other kind. It's as simple as that.

—Jim

2 comments:

Rosemary Harris said...

Hear, hear. As a mystery fan and mystery writer I occasionally get drawn into the genre fiction versus real fiction debate. Hey, it's real to me if it draws me in, I care about the characters and need to know what happens to them.
Cheers.

allfictionbooks said...

After reading this post, I just had to chime in....a good book will draw you in and blur the lines between your world and fiction. I just finished a book that does that quite well.... There are universal themes present in Shades of Darkness - Shades of Grace. These include the incredible bond of family, loyalty, the existence of evil within ordinary lives, and the realization that even the most morally grounded of people can be pushed to commit acts they would otherwise never fathom.