A week or two ago in Thursday Thoughts I talked about some of my “Bookish Turn-Offs“, so in an attempt to prove that I’m not a completely horrible and negative person, I thought a great topic for this Thursday Thoughts could be:
I’m not going to even attempt to make that horrible light switch analogy again, so instead I’ll just remind you that just because a book has one or more of these components does not guarantee that I’ll like it/buy it, it just is something that might make me a little more inclined to give that book a shot. You know the drill, so let’s get started!
1. a pretty cover:
Are you surprised? You really shouldn’t be. Although I try to avoid book buying that is strictly cover based at all costs (hence my chanting “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” while walking past the gorgeous Barnes and Noble editions of classics that I already own in ugly versions), a pretty cover is definitely likely to make me pick up the book and read the synopsis, which can often lead to a purchase. I mean, which are you most likely to spend money on:
I’m just saying.
2. FANCY CHAPTER NAMES:
This is honestly one thing that I think should be required in all books before they get published. I don’t want anymore of this simple “Chapter 1” business, oh no. I want chapter headers similar to those of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews (Chapter 12: I Put the “Idiot” in “Videotape”), Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (Chapter 1: Down the Zombiehole), and literally every Rick Riordan book ever. If I’m flipping through a book and I see that every chapter not only has a title but a name, I’m definitely intrigued. Chapter titles make books more fun to read because typically we’ll stop reading at the end of each chapter, right? But when there’s chapter titles that immediately grab you when you just glance over at them, you want to keep reading. You have to keep reading.
3. GRAPHICS/PICTURES/DOODLES/unique text/ETC.:
As readers, we have the hardest jobs of any appreciators of different arts. People who are art (like paintings) enthusiasts? They’ve got it easy. All they have to do is walk around, look at pictures, and nod, pretending they seem some sort of deep meaning within the scribbles and pastels. Movie watchers? It’s pretty self-explanatory: they watch movies. Their work is done as soon as they pay for their over-priced popcorn. But readers? Authors are incredible, but we’re responsible for doing a lot of the work too. When you stop to think about it, we’re holding words for hours at a time, and we are the ones who turn it into the enjoyable spectacle that it is, by imagining and convincing ourselves for those hours or days that the characters and story are real. Now, it’s quite apparent: I love reading. If I didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this on a book blog, obviously. But if we’re all being honest with ourselves sometimes it can get a little boring just reading lines and lines of text, and we might need a little help imagining that it might be real. This is when the fun stuff that authors sometimes add in comes in handy. If you’ve ever read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (you really should if you haven’t – great book) you’ll know that this road trip story is told in a very unique way: not only is there narrative and dialogue like normal stories, but there’s also receipts from restaurants they visited, playlists of real songs that they listened to along the way, postcards, and oodles of other stuff included within the book which serves to make the story feel like it was an actual journey. In some other books, like Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (review), there will be pages where the book is written out like a movie script, which can help make it easier to picture and read through. Don’t get me wrong – I love traditional books, but these unique touches can always help make for a really fun read. (Image taken from theprettybooks.wordpress.com – go follow her gorgeous blog!)
4. QUIRKY NARRATors:
Unfortunately for us, this particular bookish turn-on is usually found in middle grade books (at least that’s what I’ve concluded from my experience), but please let me know if you’ve found it in other places. I don’t really know how to describe this one, but if you’ve read The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch or A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. This is when the narrator isn’t even directly involved in the story but they have such a unique and hilarious personality that they seem like the star of the show. For example, in The Reptile Room (the second book in the Series of Unfortunate Events series) the narrator takes the time to fill up an entire page with the word ever, simply to remind you that you should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, (etc.) fiddle around with electronic devices lest you be electrocuted. It’s just so unique and hilarious and unexpected – I love it. With Pseudonymous Bosch, the narrator of his story (which is kind of him, as the narrator is supposedly the one writing the story) warns that the story he is about to share is incredibly secret in the prologue. He then begins the first chapter… and replaces every letter of every word with “x”. The only thing that remains are punctuation marks. Narrators like these are amazing and so entertaining to read – I really want more of them.
5. UNIQUE PREMISES:
I think this one goes without saying. It seems to me like all books lately can be grouped into four categories:
Boy/girl meets boy/girl
Someone wasn’t who they thought they were and now adventure ensues
I just am in the mood for something really weird and new and unexpected. You know, there must’ve been a time when people thought it wouldn’t be worthwhile to write about a neglected boy wizard, but look where we are now.
Hey! So that’s the end of this week’s Thursday Thoughts. What did you think? Do you agree with my choices, or do you have things you think should be added to this list (there might be a sequel!)? Do you have book recommendations that fit any of this criteria, or would you like some? Leave anything and everything in the comments, I love discussing with you guys. Thanks for reading! 🙂