What Draws a Reader In?

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I read a lot. No seriously. I’ve read over 100 books this year. That said, that includes picture books, graphic novels and audio books, but let’s be real. I read a lot. I love books! This roster includes mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, some light romance and a host of childrens books. That list includes nonfiction of all kinds, historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction and all age levels.

So what is it that draws me to a book? It varies according to the genre.

Nonfiction for Adult Readers

Most of the adult nonfiction that I read falls under anthropology, history, Native American studies, or biology. But the common factor is that it has to be about something I know little or nothing about. Radium Girls? When I saw that book, I knew nothing about the girls and women who painted watch dials. It was equal parts disgusting and fascinating.

To hold my attention, nonfiction has to be well-written and fast-paced.

Graphic Novels

Although I read some nonfiction graphic novels, most of what I pick up are fiction and more humorous than dark. I just finished The Way of the House Husband. My favorite part in the first volume involved a rumba and a cat. Next up in the graphic novel stack is Ham Helsing. That one came home from the library with me based on the title alone.

I tend to avoid the super disgusting ones.


It has recently been brought to my attention that I read romance. For years I have boldly stated that I do NOT read romances. But then my friend Kris Bock e-mailed me. “My Furrever Friends books are romances.” So apparently I do too read romances. As long as there is something else that interests me. I’m a bit cat crazy and Kris set her books in a cat cafe.

Want to make me toss aside a romance? One night stands will do it.

Picture Books

For me, picture books are like a candy counter – varied and amazing. I love nonfiction about topics that are new to me. I love stories with quirky characters. I love books that make me laugh. Lyrical writing, gorgeous illustration, and stories with a twist at the end all make me look for someone to share it with.

There are very few picture books that I don’t like but I have to admit that 9 times out of 10 shorter is better.

My point? Not every book is going to appeal to every reader. Even if a reader reads a diverse range of books, there will be things they just aren’t interested in. It isn’t a flaw in the book. It is simply a matter of personal taste.

And really? This is why we need a wide variety of writers to appeal to a write variety of literary tastes.