It occurred to me the other day that I really love to learn things while I’m reading. No, I don’t want a history lesson when I’m reading a historical romance, and I don’t want to feel like I’m reading a police procedure manual when I’vegot a suspense book in my hands. But I love picking up the bits of information that skillful authors filter in throughout their books. I think this is why I can read just about any kind of book I pick up, and of course I can read romance endlessly. But it’s not only because of the fun of experiencing the hero and heroine navigating the joys and perils of new love and moving on to their HEA. It’s all the details that make each book different and compelling.
Take almost any contemporary novel. The main characters are usually engaged in some kind of work or profession, right? An author who’s done her research can give some insight into what those professions entail. I’ve read scenes that make me feel as though I’m actually sitting at a police detective’s desk in a tiny cubicle, or flying over the mountains in a small plane. Or driving a tractor through a field. I read a novel recently that was about the characters who worked and lived near a hospital in Ethiopia, and I almost felt as though I could find my way around the little town where the book was set.
Sometimes it’s the author’s insight into personalities that hooks me. Maybe it’s not specific details about whatanarchitect or an FBI agent does, or how to create the perfect bakery pastry – but an understanding of what makes those characters tick. It’s relatable to real life. An author can make the sorrows and joys of the fictional characters resonate. It makes me stop and think about people I know… or situations I might not have understood before.
I love it when I read something that makes me want to delve deeper into the subject matter. Whether it’s historical detail or something about astronomy. Or cooking. Or race car driving.
I’m guessing most of you are book lovers – is there anything besides the romance that compels you to sit down with a book?