A book so exceptional it is frequently transformative is like a home run.
A book that is a nearly unqualified winner is like a triple.
A book that is worthy of any discerning reader's time is like a double or a single - smart people can disagree where the runner belongs but clearly the author hit the ball well.
A book that is OK, i.e. more diverting than involving is like a base on balls.
A book that is underwhelming, deficient in at least one critical domain (story, characters, quality of prose, contribution to form, etc.) is like any out except...
A book so bad it is frequently groanworthy is like looking at three strikes.
Just as my post above makes clear the inarguable link between authors and basketball, this one makes the connection between books and baseball more crystalline. In the future I request all basketball and baseball enthusiasts use the exquisite metaphors from May 2012 (for authors) and this (for books) when communicating with me. If sports lovers are still not among my legions, please stay tuned for more pathetic attempts at establishing common ground. Warning to curling fans: It could be 2050 before I come up with a catchy metaphor for your sport.