Famous writers, writing… Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.”
[excerpt from ‘Oliver Twist’]

Charles DickensWe have all read books like this. The ones you can’t remember why you bought them, the ones recommended to you by friends who read books you wouldn’t normally pick up, the ones bought in a rush at an airport or a train station, bought in that desperation of ‘any book is better than no book’, the fear that haunts book readers of being caught on a transatlantic flight without a book. This still applies today even with e-books I think, as they are even easier to buy. Just one click and they appear magically on our Kindles, a bundle bought in a weak moment from Amazon, the complete works of an author when you haven’t read even one book.

Charles Dickens


‘Oliver Twist’ by Charles Dickens [UK: Penguin Classics] Buy now

See these other famous people, reading & writing:-
Beryl Bainbridge
Peter Carey
Joseph Conrad

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Famous writers, writing… #author Charles Dickens via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-11K


      • I will never forget a former professor “friend” who knew I was sitting behind him talking to a group of my students. They knew I was a writer (writing the first draft of my first novel) and the topic of the event was about writing and great authors. Charles Dickens came up. One student said, “What about Ms. Bruchman?” He replied, “Ms. Bruchman couldn’t hold a candle to Charles Dickens.” While I’m sure it’s true, ouch! that hurt. It’s been a secret wish to prove the bastard wrong, 20 years later. 😉

  1. Fortunately most of the books I read are winners. Every now and then I come across a book that, mechanically is well done, but the plot or characters are lacking. This is a book to toss. Conversely, sometimes the plot and characters are phenomenal, but the poor writing causes me to struggle. A great cover isn’t a guarantee that what lies between is going to be good, but given that, it will prompt me to take a look at it.

  2. How often are you disappointed in a book, Sandra? 1/10, 1/100, 1/500, 1/1000? For me (knocking on wood) 1/500 applies.
    Regarding the quote above: I read some great books (lately) with not really beautiful covers.

    • Yes the cover can be a real barrier if the publisher doesn’t get it right. I am rarely disappointed with books in that I hated them, if I do I stop reading. But reading as a writer makes me aware of technique and storytelling, so I am sometimes frustrated that a writer perhaps hasn’t made the most of their story. 🙂 SD

      • The books I mentioned won me over with the stories they had to tell. 🙂
        It is sometimes frustrating to see what other writers make of their stories. This is certainly due to the fact that we all have different ways of thinking/plotting.


  1. […] Sandra Danby writes a very good post about what I will call ‘random books’.  You will understand […]