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"Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker."--Unknown.

"I learned long ago that being Lewis Carrol was infinitely more exciting than being Alice."--Joyce Carol Oates

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Do you judge a book by its...?

Posting this just in case I didn’t run everyone off with my ebooks post!

I posed this question in an earlier post: "Longer post to come but I wanted to throw this out there. I judge my books based on my heroes. Didn’t always and probably won’t always, but currently, I do. What about you? What is your deciding factor for judging a book? If you could only pick one? Hero? Heroine? Plot? Secondary Characters? HEA?"

And oddly enough, Amy Garvey just put up a post regarding this same issue (almost, kinda-sorta, ‘bout halfway through)at Romancing the Blog.

When I first began reading romances, I read them for the HEA. I judged the quality of the book on its ending. Were they happy enough? Did I get enough information? Where all the ends tied up nice and pretty into a big, pink bow? I was one of those people who needed to see the baby and know if it was a boy or girl to be completely satisfied with an ending (I know, but hey, I was young!). And then I moved on…

I found that my requirement in books changed as my life changed. Once I entered college and started taking Feminism in Literature and attended a women’s rights rally, I started looking at the qualities of my heroines. I wanted strong, tough, even tortured heroines. I wanted their pasts to be muddy and brutal and painfully abusive. I wanted them smart and witty and able to survive on their own and the only reason they allowed the hero into the picture was because they wanted to!

And then I graduated and began reading almost exclusively historicals. And I was reading for the setting and the history. A place, a ruler or a specific year would send me into a tumult of research. I would go off on entire tangents about the history of the Vikings or the boundaries of the Danelaw or locations of certain towns in England. And this continued for years…

And then I got married to my own hero (I know, go ahead, take a moment to gag, need a breath mint?) and now I read novels and rate them on the heroes. I like ‘em dark and moody and I will always take an alpha male over a beta. The more tortured the past, the better. I like them educated and rich and hard workers (even when they have inherited the title and don’t have to work). When I close a book I sit back and think about the hero, what he went through, how he grew, the way he ultimately treated his wife and family and possibly even children. And if I sigh, then it was good and I will pass the book along, if I make an ‘eh’ face with a slight lift of the lips, it will be traded, a grunt will get it sold to the closest, nearest UBS and a silent smile will get it a spot on the keeper shelf.

So, there you have it...my own little two-cents for the day.


2 touched me

Blogger Kristie (J) pondered...

Well - I'm split on this one. If not buying for the cover - then I judge whether to get it or not by the hero. But whether I like the book or not depends on whether I like the heroine (weird - I know) I think that's why I like LOS so much. Because I thought Jessica was great!

4/24/2006 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Fickle Fiona pondered...

KristieJ--I'll agree, Jessica was great. I liked how she always knew why Dain was being a stubborn mule. But as for buying off the shelf...I'm a sucker for covers. I love Scottish historicals so much that practically everything with a plaid on the cover gets bought! (did I really just admit that?)


4/25/2006 06:49:00 PM  

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