Each time I open a book, whether it’s tangible or digital, it feels as though I’m stepping through a magical doorway. What lies beyond is always a mystery. When I first open the door I always feel a little nervous. Will this book disappoint me or will it be a new favorite? I read synopses and look at the book cover before actually picking up a book but even books which pass the first few tests can let me down on the third and most important test- the actual story. This last step’s fail or pass result is determined by several factors.
What I look for in a book- Does it have a strong opening? Does it capture my attention within the first few paragraphs? If it doesn’t is it still intriguing enough to continue on. I think most readers can decide on whether they enjoy a book or not based on the first chapter. Sometimes first chapters or prologues fall flat but if my interest is peaked I may at least give it till I’ve read the next chapter.
So what piques my interest? I love having an action scene, a mystery, a first day with nervous anticipation or an internal struggle open up a book. If an author seems to drone on about scenery or something mundane and they don’t do it in a way that captures my imagination then they’ve lost me.
Reading is subjective. What I find enthralling may be a snoozer for others and vice versa. We all have our favorite reads and preferred genres. For me, I enjoy YA, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction and romance. I’m a fiction fan and very seldom do I enjoy non-fiction. However, I have read several books outside of my favorites and have thoroughly enjoyed them. It’s all in the delivery.
What are my biggest book turn offs? Firstly, build your world. Develop your characters. Without these deeper delves, the book will come off flat with no depth. Another thing I really dislike when authors try to be something they clearly aren’t. I read a book awhile back that was full of flowery, poetic writing but it was done so poorly it came off as unauthentic. Stick to what you know. I feel authors should write because they have a story to tell. I think writing for fans and expecting a payout are often what give a book a forced feeling. Write what you love and I think that everything else falls in to place after that.
Colleen Cosgrove Maliski is an avid reader, a humanitarian, and a jack of all trades. She’s always right about everything. And this reader doesn’t tolerate hypocrites, racists, and jerks. She costars in the upcoming new release Ren: A Monster’s Adventure because cool people make great characters.