I’m not sure I’m going to make much sense here… but if even just ONE person nods their heads while reading this, then I win…
I’m busy reading a book. It’s hard SF. It’s a recent (within the last ten years) publication. The pages fly.
I just finished reading another book. A Pulitzer Prize winner. Published two years ago. The pages didn’t fly.
Now I’m scratching my head. Both of these books are written beautifully. The second, the PP winner, is a masterpiece. Beautiful imagery, lyrical prose at times, existential… the writer is laconic in style, taking his time to tell the story. The first book… the hard SF… is equally laconically written. A single scene can cover, near as I can tell, ten or more pages… with a great amount of detail. I will look at a page number, and the next time I check, I’m at least ten pages down the line… and that’s a considerable chunk of reading, I tell you. BUT IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE THAT. I live in both of these stories, so why is it that the pages fly with the one story, while with the other, they don’t?
And don’t tell me it’s because one is paperback and the other is electronic. I’ve got a better comparison than that. I use Goodreads, and while I was reading chunks of about 6% at a time of the PP winner, with this paperback it’s only about 4% at a time. So even that theory doesn’t stand up. Much.
Oh I don’t know. Maybe I’m just going crazy. Either way, I love both books. But seriously, if anyone can define what constitutes a page-turner for them, pray tell!