Re: What matters most to you when reading a good book?
I promised to return after giving this one some thought, and here I am.
Some background: I am in my 70s and have been reading since I was about five years old. How many books have I read?
Good question. Hundreds, perhaps thousands. I am a compulsive reader (I can't NOT read)
So here are some factors that make me consider someting a good book that will hold my interest (or not).
Short chapters. Too many nights I have stayed up way too late trying to finish a chapter that just goes on and on, and for no apparent reason.
Believable characters. They are true to life, not cardboard cutouts; neither all good or all bad. the hero/heroine does not have to always help old ladies across the street, and the villain/villainess does not have to strangle kittens. Complex, but not TOO complex, if you catch my drift.
A plot with some, but not too many, twists. Simplicity is better than complex. And PLEaSE, no deus ex machina
Don't make your language too complicated. Don't make your reader run to the dictionary every few lines.
And limit your use of foreign words. For example, to paraphrase Isaac Asimov, "If you are referring to boots, call them boots, not gnoches. If your character gets into his car or truck, call it that, not a wonotor." (This applies primarily to science fiction.)
There are my recommendations. Godo writing.