5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Beware All Ye Who Enter...

Oh the woes of getting a great story! The struggle is real, and many of folks know the truth! There is so much that happens between the first page and that last satisfying sentence. Ever close a book with a loud contented sigh...and then realize you just lost an entire day? No laundry for the kids for school in the morning. Meh, clothes are overrated anyway. You barely remember feeding them dinner...wait, did you? Frozen waffles count as dinner, right?

For whatever reason, you couldn't put that book down. Something drew you into that story and held you hostage. Be it the plot, the characters, or just the desire to escape reality for a while. We've all been there. So in keeping up with the blog's theme this month, I'd like to share my top three reasons of why I become lost in a great book. Enjoy!

1) Probably the most influential reason I fall under a book's spell is the plot. Yup. Hook. Line. Sinker. Depending on my mood, and the current genre I am binging, the plot can suck me right in and keep me there for countless hours until I power through it. A marriage of convenience/forced marriage in a historical romance, count me in! But toss in the scheming uncle twice removed who thinks he is supposed to inherit the heroine's fortune if she doesn't get married, and I belong to that book until it's finished. I just have to know how not only the hero and heroine get past their not-so-romantic issues and fall in love, as well as how that rotten uncle is defeated. Because, well, it's a romance. The scumbag always has to lose. It's kinda the rules.

2) The characters. Ahh, nothing like a good cast to capture my heart and time. And it doesn't have to be the main hero or heroine, or both. There have been many stories that I adored, but not because the main hero and heroine were all that uber. No. It was the secondary characters that struck something in me. Like the sassy lady in waiting who really runs the show and guides the young and naive heroine. Or the hilarious butler who is always frowning and shaking his head whenever his lord is being a tool, or creating a scandal.

3) Last but not least is detail. There's nothing like opening a new book and discovering a new world, but if there isn't enough detail, I can't promise I will even finish it. Now I believe in allowing the imagination to do some work; I don't need a play-by-play of the curtain colors and matching furniture, or the dimension of the rooms unless it's imperative. But when I read a fantasy with a whole new realm of rules and government, and even species,  I expect to have some information to build a clear enough picture to aid me with recreating it in my head—and I need that rather early. Nothing more irritating than finding out that your heroine lives in the Enchanted Forest and not Illinois in chapter three because all I knew prior to this revelation was there are corn fields everywhere. Gahhhh! Frustrating!

So that's it, my top three reasons to lose myself and feed my kids sugary waffles covered in syrup for dinner. Do you agree or disagree? Please feel free to share your thoughts or reasons!

Until next time,



Dora Bramden said...

Fantasy is my fix for leaving the mundane and entering wonderland too. Although I enjoy fantastical kingdoms I also love larger than life real world characters that mirror fairytale stories.

Judith Ashley said...

Ishabelle, you've made some valid points and I agree with them all (which is why they are valid? . I just skim past 90% of the descriptions of rooms and clothing in particular. If it is a murder mystery and the murder takes place in the locked library, then maybe a more detailed description is needed. I seldom read or reread a book because of the descriptions. Nora Robert's set several earlier books in Ireland and I have reread those to return to a place I loved when I visited.