Monday, October 17, 2016
Rambling from the Stacks - What I'm Looking for in a Book
One of my favorite podcasts right now is What Should I Read Next? from Anne Vogel over at Modern Mrs. Darcy. One of the things she does before giving reading suggestions is ask each visitor to list 3 books they loved, 1 book they hated, and what they're reading next. After that she kind of does a quick summary based off all that on what she thinks they're looking for in a book. I'm so in love with the concept and it's really gotten me thinking - What am I looking for when it comes to a book?
A few months ago I did this post about certain themes that always seem to draw me in and the few that repel me but those are specific topics and not the general theme which is what Anne normally focuses on. So I've been looking over my Read list on Goodreads and going over some old posts about favorites to try and answer that question.
For me when it comes to picking the perfect book I'm looking for something with a historical element and either strong character growth or a fast moving plot. I'm looking for a book that will teach me something and pull me into it's world so I'm not just reading I'm actually seeing the story unfold. I like books that make me use my brain and teaches me something new but doesn't make me feel like I'm reading a textbook.
I'm not looking for a book centering around a hot button or controversial topic. I don't like books that feel like they have the author is writing with an agenda or is lecturing me. I don't want a book that feels like it is trying to make me cry
While I don't expect all action all the time I do want to feel like the book has a full story arc even if everything isn't tied up in a neat little bow. I prefer books that aren't stream of consciousness writing or an open ended snapshot of someone's life or experience.
This year I've been trying to read out of my comfort zone with some success and I think knowing what I'm really looking for in a book will really help me step outside my usual box but still be able to choose a book that I'll enjoy or get a lot out of.
Big picture, what are you looking for in a book?