I read a lot of books.  I love them.   An escape into an alternate life.

On average I read about 40 books a year.  All in hard copy, none of that electronic mini computer screen version for me.

A few years ago I started to record every book I read in a spreadsheet with the author, title, a brief synopsis …. and a score for how much I enjoyed the book.  The original reason for the spreadsheet was to avoid books that I have read before but the scoring system allows me to select successful authors that I might enjoy.

The scale goes from DNF  which means the book was not worth my time so I “Did Not Finish” followed with scores 1 through 5.  Normally a good book scores a 3 as I am selective when I pick it up.  An acceptable book scores a 2 and a 1 is a book that I cannot understand why I did not DNF.

The joy comes from books that score 4, and in that very rare event a 5.     A 5 is a book that I would reread again just for the pure enjoyment of the experience.

Now my scoring system is my own and I do not need to defend it.  While I like Oprah’s list of great literature, none of her best selections have made it to more than a 4 (and a couple have been DNF).

Granted to make a score of 5 for me involves the responsibility of a man to his family or books that you just  cannot stop reading because of the excitement.

Trustee from the Toolroom by Neville Shute is an example of the first category and Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (which I read non stop on an overnight flight to Paris) is an example of the second.

As I started this post, I again point out that I read a lot of books every year and I believe I am very selective in my scoring.  Actually I have not had a book with a 5 score for a couple of years.

But this weekend I read “The Husband” by Dean Koontz.  Started reading last evening in bed, stayed late reading, woke this morning and finished reading over the morning.  Did not rise at my normal 7am kept reading until the wife came home from church.

The book hit both of the criteria.  A young husband who has a small landscaping business.  He gets a phone call that tells him is wife has been kidnapped and he must come up with $2 million.  Unlike most books where he might be an ex navy seal or an ex spy, he is only a normal guy.  No going to his inventory of weapons or his contact in the CIA.  The book takes place in about 36 hours as he faces ‘What would you do for your Love”

A 5 in my scoring system which is rare enough to require a blog.