What makes you want to read a book? This is the age old question that booksellers would want to capitalize upon. They whisper to us from the shadows buy me, take me home, sit me on your shelf…or is that just me? Probably just me. So today I thought give them what they want! Tell them the secrets to my book heart. Maybe the book gods and goddesses will answer and give me more books with the things I love. One can hope.
By the way, this post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme which is organized by the lovely Broke and the Bookish and you can see the whole list here. Now let’s begin working from the outside in.
It can be no surprise that the first thing that gets me to buy a book is the cover. The more beautiful the better. I am a sucker for gorgeous covers. That is the absolute NUMBER ONE hook. I will pick up a book out of a large table or off a shelf because of the cover. I am just that shallow. Speaking of which, the spine beauty is also a factor connected to the cover. What kinds of covers do I like? I love gorgeous swirly covers with beautiful warriors on it, but then again I also love bold fonts and colors. My taste for covers and spines is not consistent. Just look at my bookshelf.
There are a handful of authors who are my auto-buy ones: Butler, Atwood, de Castell among others. These are authors I will just click and add to cart. I have loved their other works and they have yet to let me down. Isn’t that a high pedestal? It’s not just these authors, but any that I am familiar with and enjoy also will catch my eye twice in a line up on Netgalley.
Then we have the back of the book. Second to the cover, this is what I check out next. It’s gotta be punchy and appealing. This is the true test of plot. If I don’t like what I see, then I probably won’t like the book. So this section is even more subjective than the covers! Shocking. But for this area it’s all about what kind of books I like. I love adventure, science fiction, fantasy and underdogs. Give me an underdog fighting to topple an unfair regime on an alien planet, give me magic wielding sorcerers on a quest (I particularly love quest books). But I have been known to stray. I was on a Contemporary YA Kick, still on it sort of, and so this too is a wild card.
My pet peeve, besides ill-formed romances and no world-building, is flat characters. I can’t stand them. I want a character who, when I stand them on their feet, won’t fall down because they’re made of paper and are two-dimensional. Even holograms could stand up better than that. I have noticed over the years a trend in my favorite characters, characters that I feel an affinity to and will enjoy more on say a back jacket or even a cover: female (adult) protagonists. Isn’t that a shocker that I can more easily identify with characters like me? I know, huge surprise, huge. But it’s what gets me. I don’t enjoy the plots of teenage angst and YA love triangles as much anymore. That’s not to say a good YA triangle won’t rip my heart out, but it’s just not what I pick up off the shelves. Especially since I want to try to foster, in the science fiction publishing world, more adult female protagonists. We see tons of YA SF/Fantasy protagonists who are going on quests, or coming into their powers, or being princes and princesses. But I want to see books that are written for a higher aged audience. Some great examples are the Kushiel’s Dart Series and Oathbound. And I don’t mean more adult paranormal romances. I want something between YA and Adult romances and I am determined to get it. So I’ll pick up these adult SF/Fantasy books and lavish my love on them because I want the industry to take a hint. Give me more.
Let’s Discuss: What is your ultimate necessity when book shopping?
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