What Makes A Book Compelling? by Christine Duncan

I am reading a book that I just can’t finish. I like it well enough when I actually sit down to read it. But I have no real reason to stop my real life and read the darn thing. And believe me, my life is not all that interesting.

So I started thinking about my own individual checklist of why I read.

1. I have to like the characters. All of them.
I’ve read too darn many books where I liked the hero/heroine just fine but I could not take one more second of his/her quirky (or worse yet, stupid) companion.

2. I have to be on the edge of my seat with the plot. Surprisingly, that doesn’t always take big chase scenes or fights. I just rented Batman Vs. Superman from Redbox and had to keep stopping the darn thing to figure out what was going on (Wait! Is that Lex Luthor? Really? Why does he have hair?) There were plenty of amazing fight scenes but I didn’t really care as I had to keep stopping the darn thing too many times as I am not that big on comic book history. (Whoa that really was Wonder Woman.) But as long as there is something I am still worrying about, I can’t wait to get back to the book (movie, TV show)

3. I have to believe in the setting. This seems to be harder than I thought. I’ve put down a bunch of books because they had lilacs blooming in July in Colorado or they were set in some McMansion where all the people had more money than Clinton. I can believe in ghosts, aliens and God himself. I have trouble with everyone in the darn thing having all the money they need. It just doesn’t happen in my world.

4. This one is really weird but remember this is my personal checklist. I have to speak the language. If there are a bunch of slang, whether it’s my generation or the millenials. ( I just got back from Vacay and it was just Amazing!), I get tired of it fast. I want a book to be more timeless than that.

Surprisingly enough, this last one doesn’t count if I’m reading Harry Potter or watching Dr. Who.


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