Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Qualities I Want in Books

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! Once hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, it is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s a weekly book feature where a topical list-prompt is posted and readers respond with their top ten for that prompt. Yours truly tends to go over ten, but hey, what can a passionate reader do?

This week’s topic is: Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

There are a lot of different aspects that make me want to pick up a book, but the ones listed below are usually what push me over into actually checking out or buying a book only for it to sit unread on my shelves for years while I continually get distracted by other books because my TBR list is daunting and endless:

Cover: I wish I wasn’t like this, but I have to be honest with myself and say that I am totally guilty of this. I judge pretty highly based off a book’s cover. Hell, half of the time, if I fall in love with the cover, then I’ll add it to my To Read list without even reading the synopsis on the back. If an author I love writes a book with a cover I hate, I’ll probably still read it. But if I don’t know an author and I’m not in love with the cover, I’ll…probably pass it by until something else happens to convince me to give it a shot.

Genre: This is huge for me. I am very much a genre-focused reader. My main jams are fantasy, science fiction and romance, but I have my preferences within these, like: epic/high fantasy, urban fantasy and flintlock fantasy; lighter, crew-focus sci-fi; steampunk and regency romances, amongst others. Sometimes, I’ll read a thriller, mystery or historical fiction to mix it up, but I really struggle to read anything contemporary, because it’s just not my jam.

If It’s Part of a Series: This might be a weirder one, but if it is the start of a series, I’m more willing to give it a shot than if it’s a standalone, honestly. I want to be invested for a long haul and have time to fall in love with these characters, instead of only getting one book. Of course, I’ll still read standalones, but I definitely prefer series.

S Reactions Amino GIF

The Book’s Size: Another weirder one, but if the book is less than, say, 400 pages, I actually…grow a little wary of it? Like, I want BIG BOOKS. 600 pagers are my usual spread, but I’ve read enough 1,000+ page books that, sometimes, 300 pages just doesn’t feel like enough. Then again, sometimes, reading a book that is 300-400 pages is just so refreshing from the tomes I usually read and it’s a nice change of pace.

Published by Orbit: This is probably a bigger one for me, actually. I mean, of course I read books published by other publishing houses, presses and independently or self-published novels. But seeing Orbit’s logo on the spine makes me give a book extra consideration when I might not have before, because I’m basically trash for everything Orbit puts out, so they couldn’t not be on this list.

Author Interactions: This isn’t a make or break one by any means (I mean, none of these are) but if I have positive interactions with an author on social media, I am 100x more likely to read their books if I haven’t yet or continue reading them (though, if I enjoyed a book, I’ll usually continue with a series, naturally). I also totally appreciate an author’s privacy or if they don’t have a social media present, but I also love interacting with them and they are pleasant to talk to and approachable, I want to make sure and give that extra effort to support them.

Supernatural Sam Winchester GIF

Blogger Recommendations: I mean, yes, HELLO. Blogger recommendations are huge! My TBR list is only this massive because so many bloggers bring authors, books and series onto my radar that I didn’t know before, but they sound right up my alley, so straight to the Goodreads profile they go.

If It Includes:

Dragons: I f-ing love dragons. I wish there was more stories about them. And I’m talking about all types of dragons. Funny dragons, mean dragons, evil dragons, complicated dragons, dragons who speak and dragons who just wreck shit for a meal and then leave. If your book has dragons in it, it’s pretty hard for me to not want to read it.

Romance: I am also a sucker for romance (I mean, that’s why I read the genre, after all). But I also love it when a high fantasy also has a strong romance plotline thrown into it, as well, and books almost always get bonus points if I have relationships (and strong friendships, tbh) to root for or characters I fall for myself.

Tropes I Love or Twisted Tropes: There are quite a few tropes that I absolutely love, no matter how many times they have been done (chosen ones, anyone?) and some of them are “overdone,” sure, but I can’t help but love them (of course, I can’t think of anything but the chosen one trope at the moment, but I know there are others). But I also love it when I read a familiar trope twisted on it’s head or completely shattered in some way to take me by surprise. Those are the best, too.

Complex, Real Women and a Diverse Cast: Obviously, I don’t just want to read books written by men about only men. And though I love me a strong woman to be inspired by, I also love seeing complex, multi-dimensional women represented, too. A woman who can feel her emotions, express them and still be a badass. But not only that, but I love reading books that are diverse, in race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, sexual taste, culture, etc. Though I’m still growing in searching for this fiction more purposefully, it’s something that I really want.

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Well, there are some of the elements that piques this reader’s interest in a novel. If a book doesn’t have any or all of these aspects (and this is by no means a finished list), it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to give it a try or I won’t fall in love with it. It just might mean it might have to work a little harder to get my interest or time in the first place. *shrugs*

Read on!


21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Qualities I Want in Books”

  1. I love your reasons for picking up a book. Many of them apply to me. I especially love fantasy and dragons! I also love Asian, mental health and indie authors. Great post. Thanks Nicole! ❤️❤️

  2. Haha, that’s so funny about the big books! I think I used to be like that – there is nothing better than knowing I can settle in for the long haul with a nice big doorstopper of a book. Sadly, I think blogging has affected that, because now when I see a big book I just get stressed out thinking how long it would take to read, how much I would fall behind in my reading schedule, etc…which is a shame! Because I don’t think I’ve ever really lost my love for the big fat epic fantasy tomes.

    1. I can TOTALLY see where you are coming from! I think I feel like that in a more general sense, actually; how reading has taken on a work-like aspect, thanks to the blog and wanting to put out quality content and stay consistent, etc. etc. It’s definitely something I want to work on, because there are so many books I want to read that aren’t commit-based (like SPFBO and ARCs are), without guilt!

    1. Honestly, I don’t know how they are able to put out that kind of quality content across so many authors so consistently, but DAMN if they don’t kill it with every book!

    1. That is totally fair (and prolly more common, I believe? Maybe?). I dunno what it is about big books, but I just get so excited when I know I’m going to be taken on a journey that I can spend a good chunk of time in. That makes shorter books extra special to me, because it’s a nice pallet-cleanser!

  3. Oh I love this list! I’m with you on the cover, even though it’s a little bad to judge a book by its cover, I can’t help it and be more attracted to a book with a beautiful cover, too haha. I also have my genres that I prefer to read, most of it is contemporary actually haha 🙂 It’s funny though, you love reading big books and I tend to be a little wary about them all ahah, it takes me more time to pick up a big book than any other, because I’m so nervous haha. And book blogger recommendations have been such a life changing thing in my reading life, really, I’ve been reading so many books because of book bloggers in the last few years, and I’m so happy and grateful ❤

    1. Yes, I wish I wasn’t such a sucker about the covers, but something about a beautiful cover just ensnares me and doesn’t let go! That’s awesome that contemporary is your jam (speaking of, have you heard of Michelle Hazen’s romance, “Unbreak Me”? It’s one of the few contemporary’s I’ve fallen for)! I just love to escape from the real world as much as I can. 🙂 I think I’m definitely an outlier when it comes to my love of big books. RIGHT? I dunno where I would be without the book blogging community!

      1. Ohh, I haven’t heard about Unbreak Me, will have to check it out, thank you for the recommendation! 😀

  4. With the exception of maybe romance I’m a sucker for most all of these too. Covers are huge for me, and Orbit has to be my fav publisher, and yes authors who are awesome people online move up my TBR pretty quick. And yeah all you fellow reviewers are causing my wallet to get thinned out.

  5. I tried to answer through Twitter but it didn’t happen, lol.

    So, anyone who says they don’t judge a book by the cover is lying. The cover (if I haven’t previously heard of it) gets me to pick it up. The jacket blurb/synopsis gets me to buy it.

  6. Twisted tropes is definitely something that makes me want to read a book instantly too. As much as I love myself some romantic tropes, such as fake dating or friends to lovers, I really enjoy when a book can turn something that we’ve seen multiple times and add more personality to it. I really want more trope twists in romance, that’s for sure!
    If a book is set in a boarding school, I’m already likely to pick it up. I love these settings and I’m kind of a nerd for anything academics, so I definitely consider the setting is enough to make me want to read a book.

    1. Yes, exactly! There will be some tropes that I love to see forever (chosen one tropes) but if you can twist one, I’ll be even more excited. I’d be curious to see how tropes could be twisted in romance, especially!!

      Oh, that’s awesome and so unique! I don’t think I know anyone else who really loves the boarding school setting.

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