I was thinking last night about what kinds of books I like to read. I read pretty much anything including children's books, fantasy, ya, romance, history, self-help. I have favorites in all of them that I could read over and over again. So for me what makes a book worthwhile? I think it's when I can finally turn the last page and feel like the time I've spent reading it has made my life better somehow. It could be that it's made me happy, given me hope, taught me something new, caused me to think about something I hadn't before, changed my perspective on an issue. It really doesn't matter how it did it but I think usually that my opinion on a book is depends on it having improved me somehow.
For me this is also how I think I judge my writing. I don't think I would want to write something that I didn't think made me better by writing it or that couldn't have the chance of helping someone else improve their life in someway. The happiest I've been with my writing is when people have told me how much it meant to them or how it reaches out to them. Hopefully the farther I get down this creative pathway the better I will be able to do this because I don't believe in writing something just to make a name for myself or to get a whopper of a paycheck (as if that happens for most writers anyways (-; ). For me success as an author means that I've helped someone in someway. Kind of vague and idealistic but it's true.
What books or authors do you find have spoken to you or made your life better in some small way through their writing?