The Worth of a Book

March 29, 2013 at 10:13 am

James Bryce said that ‘The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it’.

If you’re like me, then the books you read leave indelible marks on your soul. I often find when I read a novel that part of it remains with me (depending on the type of book it is). This is why I steer clear of book of certain genres, like horror. I know I will be left with impressions that may well disturb me, both in waking hours and in my dreams, for years.

So I think I agree with James Bryce. But I think that worth will be different for different people. Some people will be impressed by one story and some by another.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a sign of a good book, either. Some books that I have felt were terrible have left impressions on me, although it hasn’t always been more than just the realisation that the author needed a better editor! Sometimes it can be just a word or a phrase, and the mark is there, possibly never to be removed.

So books can be dangerous things. They can also be the most beautiful thing in the world, opening a doorway to realms previously unexplored.