discussions

Discussion: What Makes Me Fall in Love With a Book?

What makes you fall in love with a book? 

Recently, someone mentioned how I’ve got a really unique reading taste, because I rarely stick to genres and read and enjoy a bunch of different stuff. And it’s true, I have a pretty versatile reading taste. So that got me thinking – what makes me love a book?

Like I mentioned, I do enjoy a lot of different books. I read both YA and Adult, and occasionally, I will pick up a Middle-Grade novel. And while I love Fantasy the most, I also read and love Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, the occasional Sci-Fi and Romance too. And people are always surprised by my reading tastes. So it begs the question:

What do all the books I love have in common? 

I have spoken previously about my buzz words  (that was a long time ago, so it might need updating). And there are definitely plot points, or devices or tropes that will most definitely make me want to pick up a book, and that will almost always work for me. Those things are intricate magic systems, or sibling relationships, or tight-knit friend groups or complicate families or the trope of all tropes – the hate-to-love romance. But while these things make me excited for a book or make me root for it, they’re not necessarily a fail-proof system to deciding if I liked a book or not.

So what is? 

So recently I read Cala by Laura Legge. And while I thought it was incredibly well written, while I think it explored its themes really well and that it was in fact, a great debut – it was still only a 3.5 star read for me, despite me thinking it’s fantastic. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a hard time enjoying books if I don’t connect to the characters.

I have to love the characters to love a book

This is something I’ve discovered about my reading – I cannot possibly love a book without loving the characters and having an actual connection with them. I can appreciate the writing, I can have fun with a plot, but if I want to really find a new favorite – I have to be really invested in the characters and I have to really be rooting for them.

Which is why my reading is so versatile

It doesn’t matter much if a book is a Fantasy or a Literary Fiction or a Romance because what I look for in books is a connection with the characters. Which is why I can forgive poor pacing, or plot holes as long as I can be obsessed with the characters. And this translates into the fact that every single one of my favorite books is really character driven.

And this is something that has been developing for a while

I don’t think my reading has always been like this. I used to read a lot of crime fiction and I use to read more “conceptual” literary fiction. But in recent years, all my favorite books have been ones that made me fall in love with their characters.

addSo that’s what makes me fall in love with a book! I would love to hear from you – what do you look for in books? What’s the thread that ties your favorite books together? Is it a genre, is it beautiful writing, is it the plot? I would love to know, so sound off in the comments below!

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22 thoughts on “Discussion: What Makes Me Fall in Love With a Book?

  1. Great post! This has really got me thinking, because I read all sorts of genres too… I think for me it might be the tone or feel of the book that matters most. If a book can make me feel involved and invested, that’s half the battle!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely agree on the characters thing, because they can really make or break a book for me. When a plot doesn’t really keep me invested, characters can be the reason I keep reading if I’m attached to them, find them interesting… It’s so so important for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like for me it’s also about connecting with the characters ! If I can’t get attached to the characters, there’s no point. Generally I’ll fall in love with a book because it’s the right one for me to read at this point in my life, you know ? I also feel like I’m always really open to any genre as long as the story can resonate with me or that I can find its beauty ! Loved this post !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg yes! It’s SO IMPORTANT to read the book at the right time in your life. I’ve done a post about that before, but I find that certain books I’ve loved in the past are ones I might not have loved if I have read them now – they just came to me at the right time in my life. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to connect with the characters and be interested in their journeys to fully enjoy a book. Plot is important too but characters make or break it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a really neat post. I did a program called Reader’s Advisory during the masters program and we learned about how people tend to actually not be readers by genre, but by type. There was language, character, setting, and story. We all like all the elements, but there’s usually one or two we focus on more. For me, I’m a character oriented reader. If I can’t enjoy the characters, I can’t read it. I thought I was plot driven next, but I’m actually language oriented after character. Then plot, then setting.

    Awesome to see another character reader ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, someone like me! Characters are the heart of a book to me, and I tend to rate books with characters I’m passionate about more than others that maybe have better plots. Which also means that when reviewers say “I didn’t like X because it was really slow paced,” it’s probable that I’ll enjoy it if that means a character-driven story 😝

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really don’t have any threads that tie my favorite books together. I really don’t have any criteria for what makes me fall in love with a book.

    Like

  8. I think being more of a versatile reader is a goal of mine for the future. As I grow up, I want to be the type of person to enjoy multiple books, as I feel like I’m mostly a YA reader for now as I’m still a teenager. I know it doesn’t mean anything, and you can read adult or middle grade despise your age, but I find that, so far, YA is what captures my attention the most. I am interested in reading more classics, though, and I hope that in the future I’ll make more time for them. But I absolutely agree that the characters really are what makes a novel – without them, no matter how good the story is, I just can’t get into it.

    Like

  9. I read a lot of contemporaries, and they don’t tend to be plot heavy. Therefore, I need to like and care about the characters, otherwise I don’t tend to get invested in the stories.

    Like

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