I think I've become a horrible reader. I didn't use to be, in fact - one of my favourite authors once signed his book for me by saying "I wish I was as good at reading as you are" (this wasn't the first time he signed a book for me)!
When I was in school, especially up till I turned lazy teenager, I would read a book a day. At least. At 11 I was let out to the town library once a week when my classmates went to the school library - I had read all the books there.. (No, not the encyclopaedias from A-Z (or A-Å as it were!), but you get my drift!)
I consumed books. (Not having five children did mean more sparetime...) Some I found enchanting, some horrible, some funny, some unbearably sad - but it was always about the book, the story, the characters, somehow.
Now, I don't know. Lately it seems my liking for the characters completely decide whether I like the book or not. Example - I really didn't like The Kiterunner. At all. "Everyone" says it's fantastic and amazing and possibly the best book ever written and so on and so forth. But I ... Well, firstly, when I'm told by masses of people to read a book, I rarely do. (Except when recommended by favourite authors, in person, of course!) But this one I did. And for 2 reasons I decided I didn't like it - I didn't like the main character, he was a coward and a liar; and secondly, after a while I could guess the entire rest of the book, give or take a detail or two, but on the whole - no surprises. At. All...
But does that have to mean it's a bad book (no pun intended)? I mean - the language was flowing, I obviously felt the characters were extremely true to life, as I disliked one of them so much? So perhaps it was actually a brilliant book?
I don't know anymore... What makes a book a good read? That you want to read more of the same author / about the same characters? That you can't put it down once you've started reading? That it'd be worthwhile reading again?
I'll just keep reading until I find out - and beyond.