Have you ever enjoyed a book that you knew was crappy?

I’m not really an admirer of Dan Brown. His books are all kinda similar, he doesn’t seem to push himself and his work never rises very high above entertaining. He’s not a particularly special writer. But whenever I pick up one of his books I manage to finish it in a day or two. I’m reading fast and enjoying myself, all the while thinking, “well…this isn’t really all that good.”

And then there’s L.M. Montgomery. I’ve said before that Anne of Green Gables is my favorite book. It’s not that long, but it took me quite some time to finish. Not because it was hard. Just because, to be honest, it didn’t catch my interest. It wasn’t flashy or exciting. It was good, yes. It was profound and deep and full of characters who were fully alive and settings that leaped off the page and begged you to come into them. But it wasn’t a ‘page-turner.’ It took work to read. Dan Brown books don’t take any work.

Sometimes poorly written books (and poorly made movies [Alien vs. Predator]) are fun. And sometimes masterpieces are hard to digest. Anne of Green Gables may be my favorite book. But it’s probably not the book I enjoyed the most. I may have enjoyed Deception Point. But I don’t respect it.

The really good books often seem hard to digest. Or, hard to digest if you want to understand them in their fullness. There isn’t much fullness to Dan Brown of Frank Peretti, so they are easy and fun to read. But You don’t remember books like that for very long. They don’t impact you.

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