Friday, October 1, 2010

Does the World Need Another Book?

Sometimes, when I'm at the local library, bookstore or even thrift store, I look around me at the thousands of books and I ask myself, "Does the world need another book?" I see so many books on the shelves, some good, some bad, some well-written and some poorly written. There are more books than anyone can read in a lifetime. No one would even want to read them all. So, it begs the question--does the world need another book?

It's a rather negative question, but one I think every aspiring author ought to ask him or herself. Is the book I'm writing going to contribute to society? Is it going to end up being the kind of library book folks wait in line for? What about when pretty much everyone who is going to read your book has read it? It will sit on a shelf in a thrift shop or in the library, gathering dust and everyone will forget about it. Is it enough that you've made your money from it? Will you still care about it? Will anyone else?

My biggest question related to this is: "What does my book contribute to the good of society?" Am I writing a book just to tell an engaging story or is there some other reason people should read my book? Will they come away from their reading with some greater understanding? Will it make them think, analyze their lives? Maybe even make changes?

For me, it is not enough just to write a book. There are so many books out there that do little more than entertain. For me, with such a glut of books already out there, there ought to be a good, compelling reason to write mine.

Lest I leave you depressed and questioning why you should continue the difficult task of writing your book, here are what I would consider good reasons to write a book:

The book will be of value if it not only entertains, but educates in a clean, uplifting way. It tells of good triumphing over evil. It is of value if it helps people learn to deal with their struggles in a healthy way. A worthwhile book will speak of real love, the kind that is selfless and causes one to want to become better for another person. We have so many examples in not only literature, but real life of how to do things the wrong way. There are plenty of sources showing Satan's influence over people. We need to read about people overcoming Satin's influence. That would be uplifting.

If you think about the classics, they do this. They speak of good overcoming evil--after a struggle, of course. They speak of love that seeks the well-being of another before self. That's why they are classics.

So what do you think? Does the world need another book? Aren't there enough already? What is your book going to contribute to society? What unique perspective do you have to offer that will make people's lives better? Or, are you only interested in what sells?


  1. In an overly simplistic way, writing a book is like making a comment in Sunday School class - you never know if it might make a big difference for someone who came there spiritually needy and longing to be fed. To answer your question, yes, the world does need my books, all six of them (so far) and when I go to Deseret Industries and see all those books I'm grateful for the people who were thoughtful enough to want to share with me.

  2. Yes it does. I have thought of the sheer volume of books out there, and felt very small and insignificant as a future author. However, as there is only one C.S. Lewis or Charles Dickens, there is--though I'm not comparing myself to the greats--one me. No one else can write the books that I can and will write.

    Whether someone finds value in them remains to be seen.

  3. Well said, ladies. Thanks for your comments.