Over the four years since I first read this book, I have recommended Ender’s Game to nearly a dozen people, and no one who has read it has been disappointed. No matter your age or taste in books, you’ll find something to like in Orson Scott Card’s classic.
10 Reasons to Read Ender’s Game
1. Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie
The movie adaptation of Ender’s Game is set to open on November 1, 2013. As any slightly-uppity critic will tell you, you want to read the book before you see the movie.
2. Consider This Your Intro to Science Fiction
Even though good science fiction is one of my favorite genres, I don’t recommend sci-fi to almost anyone. I recognize that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Ender, however, is not your typical sci-fi novel. When she married me, Rachel had a very negative opinion of science fiction, and I can’t say that’s changed just yet. But she greatly appreciated Ender’s Game and plans to read the sequels some day.
Even if you don’t love science fiction, you’ll appreciate Orson Scott Card’s masterful writing, and the characters will keep you intrigued throughout.
3. This Book is Far More Than Young Adult Lit
Before “young adult” existed as a genre, Card popularized the child hero. Now, adolescent protagonists like Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen are seen as the norm; think about it – how many enormously-popular best sellers have adult main characters?
As a predecessor to young adult lit, Ender’s Game does not suffer from the genre’s weaknesses. Its characters are more realistic than most in the genre, and the writing does not pander to the uneducated. This is a book about children, but it is written for adults.
4. This Book Has an Enormous Depth of Thought
Speaking of this book as a contrast to most young adult lit, how many young adult novels have spawned dozens of books and essays analyzing the philosophical, military, and life lessons in their pages? Ender’s Game has that distinction, with Ender’s World the latest in a series of books analyzing Card’s masterpiece.
In Ender’s World, well-known authors and thinkers take the reader in-depth into how Ender’s Game influenced their thinking. The authors who credit Card with influencing their development include military commanders, television producers, and best-selling writers. That diversity speaks to how much Ender’s Game has to offer in terms of food for thought.
5. You Will Return to this Book Time and Again
Believe me, as soon as you finish this book, you’ll begin to consider reading it again. This story is that good, and your first reading won’t be enough. The common experience of Ender readers is a deep itch to reread this book, and often on more than one occasion.
6. Reading This Book Will Open a Whole New Series to You
If you end up liking Ender’s Game, you will be happy to learn that nearly a dozen sequels are out there. In my study, I have an entire shelf devoted to Orson Scott Card’s novels, and there are still times when visiting book stores that I find new books or collections of his essays. Unlike series that begin and end far too quickly, Ender’s Game is the beginning of a substantially-long series.
7. This Story is a Great Metaphor for Life
This point is a topic for another post, but Ender’s Game is a story that serves as a perfect analogy for so many aspects of life. I don’t think Card wrote this book to be a metaphor for anything, but nearly everyone can see parts of their life reflected in the story. After you’ve read Ender, you’ll find your mind returning to it time and again.
8. This is a Great Conversation Starter
As I mentioned above, Ender’s Game is a story that appeals across ages, sexes, and backgrounds. So whenever the topic of books comes up in conversation, you’ll be amazed at how many people know and love this book. I place Ender on a short list of books I think everyone should read for cultural literacy if no other reason.
9. Check Out the Amazon Rating
In case you doubt me, take a look at the user ratings on Amazon. At the time of this writing, Ender’s Game has 3,868 reviews on Amazon, and 2,976 of those are 5-star ratings. Overall, the book enjoys a 4.6-star rating – an astounding average. (For a comparison, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has a 4.7 rating.)
10. Everyone Likes a Good Novel
No matter how rarely you read and no matter how little free time you have, you can always find a few minutes where a quick fiction story is a welcome treat. Whether it’s waiting for a doctor’s appointment or those few minutes before you fall asleep at night, you can always find time to read.
Even if you’re not persuaded by all nine other reasons, read Ender’s Game for fun. Read it for pleasure. Take this book on your next vacation, or read it during your lunch break to feel like you’re on vacation. You’ll thank me.
So there you have it, my 10 reasons to read Ender’s Game. What would you add to my list?