It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, and today’s topic is “top ten things that instantly make me want to read a book.”
The truth is, I’m quite picky about my books. There’s almost nothing that will guarantee I’ll read a book. I’ll add anything that looks interesting to my TBR, but then read something I’ve never even heard of instead, because it caught my eye or just happened to be in at the library when I needed something to read.
- urban fantasy
I’m a sucker for urban fantasy, but I’ve gotten picky in my own age. Still, I feel like this deserves a mention because for years, I would read anything in the “urban fantasy” genre, regardless of quality.
I love microhistories? Seriously, they are my jam right now. I’ve read histories of single women in America, swearing, heterosexuality, the Boston molasses flood, Superman, colors, Beanie Babies, and I’m always looking for more. I love the way microhistories bring history into focus, drawing connections between major events and everyday lives.
- exiles from Narnia
I love this stuff. What happens to you after you’ve been the protagonist of a fantasy novel, and have to return to the real world? Something like Every Heart a Doorway, or The Whisper, and I’m already excited about the 2018 release The Weight of Worlds. (I used to love The Magicians, but now I do not.)
- fun story time reads
Some books are meant to be private reading, and that’s OK. Some books are best for parents to read to their children at night before bed, but aren’t great for a librarian to read to a whole class. That’s OK, too. But if a book is a good read aloud for me to share with 20+ kids during class story time? Perfect. My favorite kinds of chapter books to read out loud with kids are voice-y first person narratives, or adventure stories. Our current class reads are Capture the Flag and From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess.
- graphic novels
Sometimes, you want to sit down and get through an entire story in one sitting. And if you’re a slow reader like me (it’s true), then sometimes the best way to get that kick is graphic novels. Graphic novels are really having a heyday right now, so there’s some good stuff out there. Boxers & Saints was a gut punch. Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant was a delightful romp. I can’t wait until the new Lumberjanes gets to the library.
- it’s something new (to me)
One of my favorite books of the 2016-2017 school year so far is Dear Mrs. Naidu, which is set in India and written by an Indian author. What do I know about school life in India? Nothing. I loved this book for so many reasons, and one of those reasons was that it was just unlike anything else I’ve read, even though I’ve read school stories before! Or Akata Witch, like, I love fantasy, but I’ve never read a fantasy story set in Nigeria before.
- it’s there at the right time
Buying books is expensive. Buying English-language books in Japan is even more expensive. Plus, I live in a small apartment and I’m not sure I’ll live here forever, so I don’t buy every book I want to read. I wait for them to come in, either at the library where I work or on the Overdrive sites for CLAMS or Boston Public Library. So sometimes, I just read whatever’s available right at that moment and looks interesting.
- recommended by someone whose taste in books I trust
This is exactly what it sounds like. If a book gets a good review from someone whose taste in books I trust – whether that’s a professional reviewer or a friend with similar (or just very good) taste, then I’m much more likely to pick it up.
- LESBIANS! 🏳️🌈 (or really any queer women)
I had a few books about queer people when I was in high school, but most of them were bad (Luna, What Happened to Lani Garver) or fanservice-y (my entire BL collection), and I still feel like I’m making up for lost time. This is how I found both my 2016 favorite, Not Your Sidekick, and my 2017 unfavorite, We Awaken.
I love rereading books. It is perhaps one of the chief pleasures of reading for me. There’s nothing better than snuggling up with an old favorite. I listen to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the dentist and pick up Redwall or Lord of the Rings when I’m nostalgic.