Okay, for those of us that read frequently, some even CONSTANTLY, we know when we've read a good book. A well-laid plot, good character development, vivid descriptions, unexpected but believable twists and turns. Insight into other worlds. Those are the mechanics as I see them. But how do you measure a book in terms of it's "goodness"? Well, here's what I think:
Regardless of the reader's genre preference a good book will draw the reader in, transport them to the time and place of the character(s) and will submerge them in the emotions that are experienced. The reader will empathize with one or more characters and will subconsciously find a place among the cast. Although it might seem cruel to some I've always thought that if a book can make you cry-either tears of sadness, rage or joy-then most likely it's a good book. Not because I believe in making folks feel bad-but I believe in making folks FEEL.