People often talk about a novel being plot-driven or character-driven. For me, that can be an artificial distinction. For my taste, the best novels -- those that capture me and make me feel sorry the read is coming to an end -- are those driven by both.
From the 18th century onward, novels have shown themselves to be remarkably effective, durable technologies for encouraging us to extend our understanding to others. And if that isn't a good reason to pick up a good book, then I don't know what is.