Tuesday, May 23, 2023

What Makes Me Read A Book?

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There are so many books in the world! How do I decide which ones to read? Here are a few things that grab my attention and make me add a book to my to-be-read mountain.

I've included some books as examples of what I'm blathering about in this post. Click the covers to see a synopsis.

😻  What Makes Me Read A Book?  🤷

True Story Or Based On A True Story

Real life is stranger than fiction, and I like strange. My favorite nonfiction books are the ones that require me to keep reminding myself this really happened.

Villains As Main Characters

Fiction is a safe place to explore the darker side of human behavior. Why do some people constantly make destructive choices? I'm fascinated by the minds of villains. (Probably because I'm a neurotic perfectionist who has a small mental breakdown every time I have to kill a spider. I can't imagine messing up the whole world.)

Cults / Obsession / Extremism

I'm pretty sure this has been a lifelong interest. I'm fascinated by people who have extreme beliefs or goals that consume every moment of their lives.

My interest probably developed because I was raised in an area where Christian Fundamentalism was popular. The cliques in my high school were based on which church you attended. There were kids who wouldn't speak to me because I didn't go to their church. Fundie Land is a confusing place for a child who just wants friends. There are so many rules! And nobody bothers to explain them! You're expected to follow the rules and not ask why.

Social Media & Fandoms

I am chronically online. Since I spend so much time talking about books on social media, I'm interested in how social media companies bring people together and tear them apart.

A Strong Sense Of Place & Time

Humans are products of their environments. Book characters should be too. The best books have vivid settings. I hate those vague Anywhere, USA settings that you see in contemporary fiction. Anywhere doesn't exist. Show me the landscape! Show me your culture!

Countries That Are Not My Own

My only goal in life is to travel, but I can't afford that, so I'll have to live vicariously through books. I'm drawn to stories that are set in places I've never been.

Classics With Pretty Covers

I own a lot of classic books, and 99% of them have hideous covers. I'm tempted to spend an entire paycheck on pretty editions of classics because I'm sick of looking at my ugly books. I want a pretty bookshelf like the ones I see on Instagram.


Humor is subjective, and I'm dead inside, so it's rare for me to laugh at a book. However, some of them are freakin' hilarious. If my reviewer friends say a book is funny, I'll probably pick it up and see if it stirs my cold, dead heart.

Magical, But Not In An Exhausting Way

I like fantasy books, but I'm extremely picky about them. I prefer portal fantasies. Or books that are set in our world but add a little bit of magic. I'm usually not interested in the sword and sorcery stuff that requires me to keep up with a bunch of complicated worldbuilding. I don't have the brain power for that. I'm tired.

Do you want to know 10 more things that will make me read a book? Here's another post about the subject.

What makes you read a book?


  1. I love a good setting - if I get to the end of a book and still can't figure out where it took place, that's a problem!

  2. I like books based on true stories, too.

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


  3. I'm not sure I can even explain it -- it's an impulsive feeling towards a book. But you touch on some ... faraway places, different experiences, pretty covers, good themes, and great writers.

  4. I do love when a book can actually make me laugh out loud!

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

  5. I've really gone down a rabbit hole lately with cults and fundamentalist religions. LOL

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  6. I like reading up on criminal psychology. Cults and seral killers are interesting to read about.

  7. I enjoy a touch of magic and have been reading a bunch like that lately. Not being a big fantasy reader, I can find it exhausting to keep up a very complicated magic system/world

  8. I probably like nonfiction better than fiction, and I also love to read stories set in countries that are not my own.

  9. Cults and extreme religion are two subjects I enjoy reading about. They're endlessly fascinating to me!

    Happy TTT!

  10. Great list! A vivid setting is fun. I also love a good villain.

  11. I am so with you on cults and books set in countries outside the US. I am not a magic/magical realism person, but Cemetery Boys was fantastic!

  12. If push to pick only one I'd pick books about books, but I always appreciate books based on a true story too! Happy reading! My TTT https://readwithstefani.com/things-getting-in-the-way-of-reading/

  13. Yes to magical, but not in an exhausting way! A strong sense of place and time is also such a good one!

  14. I enjoy books based on or about true stories too, I think that's the history graduate in me! Also yes to strong sense of place and time, that's a really good one, I want to be super wrapped up in the world and that means that the setting and era has to be really clear and defined, and enhance the story. I also love a good villain, oftentimes they can be more interesting than the hero. I am also a big armchair traveller so I love books that take place in countries I've never been to (and often books inspire me to want to go to different countries) and I love funny books, anything with a healthy dose of humour is guaranteed to get me interested. Great list!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/05/23/top-ten-tuesday-421-the-literary-dinner-party-2022-tag/

  15. Foreign countries (especially ones I've always wanted to visit), and cults always make me want to read that book, too. Love your list! :D

  16. Yes, I really appreciated the strong sense of place and time. :)

  17. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with a villain as the main character, but there have been some villains that I've come to enjoy. Cults have always fascinated me so if a cult plays a part in the story that's a big bonus.

  18. I'm fascinated by cults too. Love books that involve them, but it's been a while since I've read one.