Many readers value "understatement" in literature, especially fine literary novels, short stories, as well as poems. They don't like messages, themes, or viewpoints blatantly brow-beaten upon them, where they cry "Okay, I get your point; I get your point." Most readers of quality literary works in literature want to figure things out for themselves and ponder the sometimes double and triple meanings to phrases and scenes the writer writes.
Many readers also value strong imagery in literary works, as well as strong characterization. They wish to empathize with a story's main character - the protagonist of the work, again, whether a novel, short story, or poem. In addition, readers enjoy descriptive settings in stories and poems. They value settings that contribute to the plot and mood of the work.
Moreover, many readers enjoy inevitable endings that surprise, while making logical sense at the same time. These endings are believable, not contrived so that they insult the intelligence of the reader, and uniquely tie up the story and leave readers thinking about the work long after they have put the literary tome down.