By Judy Christie
From the time I stepped into the visiting bookmobile in the second grade, I’ve been in love with choosing books to read. The first place I drove when I got my drivers license as a teenager was the public library. My idea of a fun day is an unhurried visit to a bookstore.
As reader and writer, I wonder what makes us fall in love with a story and its author?
You’re probably like me. Books everywhere! My bedside table overflows. Our coffee table surface disappeared months ago. Two big stacks teeter at the top of a full bookcase. My e-reader is loaded.
Here are a few things that grab me as a reader:
• Strong female characters who are likable but not perfect. I enjoy books with get-it-done women protagonists who are smart and funny. Add a dash of uncertainty! I want to care about characters so much that I long for things to work out for them.
• Tension. The best novels make me wonder what’s going to happen, even if I know what’s going to happen. Twists and turns make for a delicious read.
• Series. I’m a big fan of series. I enjoy watching characters develop, getting acquainted with a family or a place, and seeing what happens through the years. I was hooked on series by The Boxcar Children books in elementary school.
• A definite sense of place. The books I enjoy the most are those where I feel like I’ve paid a visit to the community-be it small-town Texas or coastal Carolina.
• Description that creates a picture in my mind but doesn’t wear me out. There’s an art to the right details in at the right moment.
• Great dialogue. Banter between a protagonist and her friends hooks me, and don’t you love subtle humor woven through dialogue?
• Makes-me-smarter. Huh? My favorite novels teach me something. I’ve learned about prayer boxes, the Civil War, the Hope diamond and more in recent years.
• A satisfying ending. When I sat down at my laptop to write fiction six years ago, I didn’t know much about writing a novel, but I knew from the first word that my books would have life-affirming endings. One of life’s great treats is reading a book so good that I don’t want it to end-and then loving the ending so much that I read it again to see what I missed.
What about you? What makes you fall in love with a book?
Judy Christie writes fiction with a Louisiana flavor, including “Sweet Olive” (Zondervan), her seventh novel. She loves to visit with readers and writers and blogs from her green couch at www.judychristie.com. You can also visit with her at www.Facebook.com/judychristie and www.Twitter.com/judypchristie.