I recently attempted to read Wuthering Heights. I ultimately gave up on it because I couldn’t find much to like about the story. Heathcliff and Catherine were two miserable people. They made themselves, others, and me miserable. I couldn’t find anything to like about them. The story is really just an extension of them so I had a hard time liking it as well.
That got me thinking….do you really need to like something (characters, story, setting, etc.) in order to enjoy a book?
For the most part, I need to like something about a book to really enjoy it. I know I don’t have to like every single aspect of a book but there needs to be something I can get behind. A lot of the time, if I can’t find anything to like about a story, I just won’t finish it.
There are very few cases where I don’t like the book but I enjoy it at the same time. The one that comes to mind is The Magicians by Lev Grossman. For the most part, I didn’t the characters and the story was dark and a bit depressing. I still enjoyed the book (to a certain extent) because the idea of the story was interesting.
What do you think? How important is likability in a story? How important is it for you?