Friday: The Worth of Our Writing and Take Aways

laughterThe worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.”
–James Bryce

This quote popped into my mail box yesterday, sent to me by Real Simple, and it got me thinking.  Do I really agree with this?  

Surely, to stick with a reader and to make an editor want to buy your work, your book or article has to have a take away.  The take away is something that sticks with the reader after they have scanned the last word, something that hangs with them and makes them think or feel.

But does the take away have to be something deep and complicated?  Or can it be something light? 

I’m voting for light and life-giving here.  Over the years, I’ve noted that so many of the award winning books or those on state reading lists have heavy take aways.   The kind with weight. 

Maybe its watching the kids I associate with each day, but I think that one of the greatest gifts that writers can give them is laughter.  A light, lively take away that makes them smile and want to repeat a part of the story at the dinner table. 

If it teaches a lesson, dandy.  But sometimes the greatest value is light and life and laughter. 


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