Monday, October 31, 2016

Discussion: Have You Become a Picky Reader, Too?

I've been on a reading binge of romance novels (both YA and Adult) for the past five years it seems.  This year it's been heavily focused on Adult romances.  Basically if there isn't an element of romance in the story, I don't want to read it.  Call me a romantic.  Over the last six months or so, I've noticed there are certain details in the adult romances I look for.  When I am perusing Amazon's kindle deals, or checking out some book rec's that friends sent me, I've gotten into the habit of looking for certain details.  I don't know when I became this reader, but there it is. I AM NOW A PICKY READER.

So what are these details?  Well, though these aren't necessary details that I HAVE TO HAVE when I read, they are things I definitely find myself looking for.

  • Prefer first person narrative. Why? Because I feel that much more connected to the story.  And if the  novel is told from one POV, it's even better.  I prefer to be inside a character's mind and discovering the story through their eyes.  Though dual POVs can be fun, it takes the element of surprise out of the story sometimes. Third person narratives aren't a hands down no for me. If the writing is solid and entertaining, then I am okay with it.  But most of the time those first person POVs are my jam.
  • Not a big fan of second chance romances. Why? Because I feel like I missed the beginning of their love story.  Typically the story begins later down the road, when I feel like I am just being TOLD what their first time around was like, when really I want to be experiencing it too (even if it's much earlier in their time frame).  I think this goes back to my "wanting to be inside the character's head" comment from above -- I need to understand where they are now, and why a second chance romance may or may not be an option.
  • Substance is a must. Why? Because even though all those romancey-times are fun, I need to know who those peeps are, what their story is, where the conflict is, how their story will be resolved. I need something deeper in my story than just a means to get to the bedroom.
  • I prefer the dorky - might need to take a second look - his wit & words is what attract me first - kind of hero.  Why? Because ripped abs, sculpted arms, bad-boy types have left me feeling bored. I think this goes back to my needing substance in the story preference. An attractive guy is great and all, but a writer can only describe their physique so many times before it gets boring and I lose interest in the story. Give me humor, wit, SUBSTANCE to his character and I am all in.
  • The girl doesn't need the guy to complete her story. Why? Because nothing bugs me more than when a heroine is portrayed as weak, or her life is less than because she didn't get the dude, or her happily ever after didn't pan out. Call me a feminist, but I believe all women are more than capable of living a fulfilled life regardless of her romantic relations. They're just an added, extremely nice, bonus!
So tell me, which details draw you to the books you read?  If you're a romance reader fan, too, do any of these preferences make your list as well?  Let's chat about it!  Talk to me in the comments, or feel free to find me on twitter (@GReadsBooks) to further the conversation.


  1. Yep, I'm totally the same way lately! I've gotten way choosier about what I read and when I read it. I've noticed if romance bothers me in one book, the next book I read just can't have any romance AT ALL or else it'll bug me somehow. I think I'm getting pickier about what I like but it definitely has to do with timing and mood reading too.

  2. You have to be choosy because there are so many books to read and not enough time. And I agree with you on all those points. I'm so tired of 'Bad Boy with a heart of gold.' No! give me the nerdy guy. And first person POV is so much better!

  3. I read a lot of romances too, and when I pick up books in other genres I want there to be elements of romance too. I prefer first person narrative for the same reasons as you. And substance is definitely a must for me as well. For this reason I find it harder and harder to read erotica: too much sexy times, so little substance. Interesting post, Ginger!


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