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5 Ways to Make Me Want to Read a Book

by Kellyn Roth |
February 15, 2020

This post should be subtitled “and why you don’t probably want to do any of these things,” because I have WEIRD TASTES — and I’m also basic at the same time — so honestly, write a good book and don’t worry about who will and won’t like it.

But all the same, since this is my blog, I reserve the right to do a selfish post that talks about things that make me want to read a book (before actually reading it) (after which I already have, so it’s more … “things that make me love a book,” period) (this is not that post).

Let’s not lolly-gag, folks. Time’s a wastin’! Onward to the actual post …

#1: The covers, mates.

This one’s kinda obvious. If there’s a gorgeous cover, I’m more likely to read.

Though some things are set in stone, like making a cover that works in your genre and doesn’t look like a no-talent 3rd grader photoshopped it (and to show I’m fair, could be a no-talent 4th grader, too) …

There are some things that are subjective.

For traditional publishers, this is decided by a graphic design team, but for an indie author, well, if you want to have me as your reader (and only me!), well, here are some styles I love!

(Also, I just did random photos from Goodreads. So ignore the fact that most of my favorites are not here. DON’T EXPECT ME TO WORK HARD WHEN I CAN WORK JUST A BIT! I am a lazy creature.)

266904363533693025904940539465. sy475 36496717270667222442339542610176. sy475 1915092742843780812572316117006946734623465439. sy475 39189837. sy475 22440548330961163848495141806885. sy475 28549090. sx318 5039619343801263405386054055659238915861. sy475 38532199. sy475 36560973. sy475

#2: A fantastical premise that is immediately obvious.

Look, y’all. I’m dumb. And I have the attention span of a goldfish with ADHD. Sadly, though, not very many books immediately state what makes them unique and special. They just … don’t.

If you tell me you’ve written a great historical romance, and it has a fun cover, then I’m mildly interested. But if you tell me you’ve written a great historical romance, and your tagline is something like, “Spies are taught to expect the unexpected—but she didn’t expect to fall in love with the  enemy.”

Well, I’m buying it.

Of course, my “cool premise” is another woman’s clichéd and annoying premise, but that’s entirely beside the point. I love me something that immediately stands out.

Some books that, to me, immediately stood out premise-wise? These are the ones that come to mind:


#3: The blurb continues to intrigue me.

I generally only glance over blurbs, but if the premise was intriguing enough, I’ll actually read it. 😛 Basically, a blurb that’s not too long, not too complex, but not too vague is best.

I prefer ones that give specifics. For instance, this blurb would not work for me:

Jenna loved her picture perfect life until a tragic event caused it to all fall apart. With her world now scrambled, she finds comfort in a new passion. However, when a new threat appears, she must make a difficult choice between comfort and excitement.

That may seem overdone to you, but I’ve seen blurbs that are very similar! It doesn’t intrigue me—it just irritates me.

Try something like this instead:

Jenna’s office job may be boring, but it still offers her all the amenities a 30-something cat lady can want. All that changes when a car accident causes her to rethink her life. In those long days at the hospital, she finds comfort in painting—and in a handsome male nurse who refuses to let her sink into depression. [Continue on in this thread—I haven’t the energy!]

Look, hon, I ain’t gonna read the book if I don’t understand the plot!

Also, I’m over here channeling Pam Beesly, methinks …

Image result for pam beesly gif

Sadly, Jim was not a handsome doctor, and there never was a car accident. (I can’t imagine Pam being a reckless driver, anywho!)

#4: Reviews—not really the reviews you’d think, though.

I look for specific kinds of reviews when considering whether to buy a book.

First, I’ll look and make sure it’s within my comfort level, but then I’ll also try to be discerning about what people are meaning. I know a wide variety of readers who prefer a wide variety of things, and what might be “explicit” to one reader, to me is 1000% squeaky clean.

In fact, sometimes I’ll feel obligated to read a book if I felt a reviewer was unfair in their description of the content. (I can be that way…)

I’ll generally look at negative reviews first. If the kinds of things they’re talking about are pet peeves of mine—e.g. love triangles or another one of my many peeves—I’ll want to avoid the book.

Now, positive reviews can also help me … choose to not read the book. If I feel like everyone is just praising the book endlessly, I’ll get annoyed and leave. I like a little criticism in my reviews. 😛 And I especially like it when people have opinions.

Sometimes in positive or semi-positive reviews, I’ll find little things like, “This book was great, but a lot of romance for me.” Well, I love romance! Sign me up!

Or, “The magical elements were a little boring.” I’m fine with less magic—or more magic, really; I’m not a big fantasy reader so I have very few opinions as long as the book is well-written—so I deal with that.

But more often than not, it’s the ranty reviews that make me want to read … whether their ranting is positive or negative, I’ll be more attracted to a book that has gotten such a review.

Why? Because either way I just want to know what they’re talking about. My curiosity is that crazy!

#5: The perfect mood.

That’s right … the final factor for making me want to read a book is not one anyone can control. It’s just being in the right mood.

Sometimes it’s just me feeling like reading a random book. Sometimes it’s me feeling like I need to #treatmyself. Sometimes I think a book might be fun to slam, or I think I really want to read something RIGHT NOW that is new and interesting.

Sometimes I just want to support a fellow indie author.

Sometimes I feel like someone with money. (This is not true.)

But whatever mood that is, it’s the book buying/book reading mood, and it makes me want to read that book. And so, I do.

And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed this post.

Comment below and let me know what makes you want to read a book … and what turns you off, too! (Even if it’s petty.) (Like never reading books with main characters named Gillseldina Grimelda … though that’s kinda petty.) (It’s on her parents, not on her!)



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2 Responses

  1. All important elements when looking for a book! And I completely relate to the reviews: I like to find and read the 2 star reviews before the 5 stars, because they often give more information (not always. But then, many 5 stars are just one sentence long reviews basically saying the book was awesome…not really helpful when considering a title) And when 2 star reviews are unfairly nasty, I don’t put any weight on their opinion either.

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