This post is a collection of things I’ve noticed in my reading experience. They range from surface level things that anyone can see on a book when they just pick it up in the store to details that come about deeper in one’s reading. The post came about because when you do something a lot, you’re bound to start doing some comparing and contrasting (ugh so many high school English class worksheets just flashed before my mind!)
Real Person Cover vs. Illustrated
I personally think real people on book covers ruin it for me. They rarely get it right. It’s funny going back to early 2000s and seeing those cover models. It’s like, did you even read the book? Yes, that girl is good looking but she’s a stranger to this story. No one inside looks like that.
(This is what I imagine the real person cover model would say to me.)
Chapter Amount and Chapter Length
I notice that usually YA books tend to be around 36 chapters. There are many many many exceptions to this, I totally realize that, but I’ve just seen a lot of books that seem to keep this pattern.
Chapter length is something I always have in mind while I’m reading unless it’s an amazing book. I love me a good short chapter. I’ve noticed a lot of books recently varying each chapter length rather than having each be roughly the same. I’m fine with either as long as I’m not dying from info-dump or a chapter where nothing happens.
The Blurbs on the Book
I admit, this definitely has an impact on me when deciding if I will read the book. If I see other authors that I didn’t really like on it, I’ll most likely set it down to do more investigation into reviews. Also I feel like blurbs from good authors are much more likely to affect me than reviews from journals. The NYT or School Library Journal will give a book a five star rating and then I’ll disagree.
I appreciate a good Dickens style name that plays upon the character’s demeanor or part in the story. Yet sometimes I wonder where that name came from in the book! Like everyone else in the story has relatively normal name for the time period and then one name (the main character’s) sticks out! Obviously she was born to be special. She was named that way. When every character has a boring name, I loose track but when every character has a unique name, I also loose track. There needs to be balance and sense.
The Time Period
Sometimes the time period of a book is really hard to figure out. I like it when it’s not explicitly stated, leaving the reader to figure it out on their own. However sometimes this leads to confusion because I’ll be thinking it’s in one time period and the book is like nope! Here’s a reference that is completely out of place with what you were thinking. I feel like most of the confusion comes with books that are dystopian or some that are a mix of futuristic fantasy. With dystopian, the government might have wanted the society to model the past. Or sometimes the fantasy is not quite sure if it wants to be epic fantasy or urban fantasy and is stuck confusingly in between.
Let’s chat! Have you noticed these same things? What other patterns have you noticed in books? Tell me in the comments and we’ll be Sherlock Holmes together.
Thanks for reading!