Let’s Talk: The Most Important Elements Of A Book

most important element of a book

As a book reviewer, it didn’t take me long to realize what it is I love about the books I adore.

Of course, if I adore a book, I’ll love a lot of things about it…but to me, there’s always just that one thing I look out for the most. That one thing were if it isn’t that good, no matter how good the rest of the book is, I will probably give it a lower rating.

So what’s the most important element of a book to you?


This sort of thing is usually split three ways:

Plot, Characters, or Setting.

To some people, if the plot is well thought out and original, the book is sure to be a winner.

To others, the characters have to win their heart.

Or maybe it’s the setting, some others want to be thoroughly caught up in the world.

Of course, there’s plenty of other factors that come into it. Maybe it’s the genre of the book that guarantees your love for the book. Maybe it’s the amount of diversity there is. Maybe it’s the romance.

Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure that we readers have something we favour the most from each book.

For me?

It’s the characters.

If I love the characters, I’ll love the book.

And if I don’t? Well then, it’s more than likely that I won’t like the book.

I just can’t stand reading about characters I either don’t like or don’t care for. For me to love a book, I genuinely have to really care about the characters. I mean, what’s the point of there being a dramatic plot with the tension building…if that tension won’t actually build in me because I don’t care what happens to the character?

It took me a while to notice that all the books I’ve given lower ratings to have that one thing in common, at least. All those books, I probably wasn’t a fan of the characters.

But why does it make a difference?

Well, it’s what we look for in books. We know what we like, so that’s what we’re attracted to when choosing new books. It’s what lures us in. Obviously, all the other elements matter too, but there’s usually that one specific thing that wins you over.

Join the discussion!

What is the most important element of a book to you? Is it the characters, setting, plot, or something else entirely?

What is it that really draws you in?

Is there anything else that you think is important in a book?

Why are these things important?

What makes one element more important than the other? Personal taste?

Join the discussion in the comments!

Until next time…


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25 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: The Most Important Elements Of A Book

  1. I completely agree with you about the characters being the most important part of a story, I’ve read books which haven’t had much of a plot but because the characters were so wonderfully written it was their development that made the whole book for me (Aristotle and Dante is one that comes to mind).
    I do think the setting is also really important, especially in fantasy books, if I can’t believe in the world then it will ruin a story for me!
    It seems kind of strange that that leaves the plot to take last place! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it comes to setting, like you said it’s definitely fantasy that needs this. The first that comes to mind as an example would be Harry Potter for me! So many people fell in love with that world. But if you like reading about the characters, just about anything they do can become interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There have been a few fantasy books I’ve read that have just fallen flat on the setting and I couldn’t get into the story because of it. If a world hasn’t been set up properly it doesn’t matter how good the characters or the plot is because it just feels like something is off.
        But I completely agree with you about the characters, I mean, Harry, Ron and Hermione for example I would read about them sitting in detention for an hour because they were really well developed characters!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, this is really interesting! See, I can still read books with characters I’m not fond of, and love them too? As long as the characters have depth and actually make me feel something, I don’t mind. But if the characters are just outright dumb or something, I’ll put it down. What I look for is meaning. That gets me thinking. If the book is symbolic or allegorical – I’m always looking for meaning haha.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aw, 🙂 I think we all sort of subconsciously do in a way? We’re less likely to enjoy meaningless books. Like, imagine a book about a boy who just does absolutely nothing with his life and nothing happens. No meaning to that.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Characters are definitely what keep me reading. I could enjoy a book even if I don’t care about the characters, but then I often would not feel compell to continue reading it.
    I have soft spot for setting too, great worldbuilding and magic system and all that. Loopholes in magic system bug me everytime. But at the end of the day, it’s the characters that make or break a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree you with, characters are also the most important thing for me. I can’t consider a book, a great read if I really don’t care about the characters. I always try to find that connection or attachment with the characters, it just makes the reading experience a lot better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly 🙂 If I feel attached to the characters, it’s a struggle to let them go, and I want to know everything that happens to them. But if I don’t care…what’s the point?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh saaaame. I own too many (but also not enough) books that I wanted to throw out of the window and also at people’s faces and just scream because I didn’t know what to do with all the emotions. They’re the best kind of books!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think for me plot is the most important element. A sense of progression keeps me interested in the book. I want to see what happens next. That said, characters is definitely a close second.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely agree that characters are the most important element of a good book. If I love and connect with the characters chances are I will love the book. However, there have been instances where I have still loved a book even though I didn’t like the characters at all. Wuthering Heights is one of my favourites but the characters are awful people. However, I also can’t discount a good plot and setting either as these just complete a brilliant book.

    Lauren @ My Expanding Bookshelf

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And if they’re all balanced out, that’s a great book 😀
      I’ve not yet read Wuthering Heights but it’s sat on my shelf waiting for me to one day tackle it.


  7. Definitely agree with you and other comments – yes, the characters can make or break a book! If characterizations are bad, I don’t care how good the plot it, I probably won’t like the book. Between plot and setting, I’m more of a mood-setting-place kind of reader, I could read a book about nothing if it was occurring in a dark enchanting mysterious library or something 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think plot and prose are rather important. I definitely want something interesting to happen in the book (though I make exceptions). But I also want good writing, It’s very hard for me to get through books with sloppy or really simplistic prose.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. As a new blogger, I am still analyzing what contributes to my higher ratings; but I definitely lean more towards character than plot.

    Liked by 1 person

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