20 Things I Love To See In Books

Anyone who’s gotten to know me a bit knows that I’m both a pessimist and fanatically snarky. That combination leads to blog posts like 20 Bookish Pet Peeves, in which I spend 300 words complaining.

In the spirit of compensating a bit for my general sarcasm and negativity (judge not, lest ye be judged), here is a list of 20 things I love to see in/on a book.

In/on physical books…

Black covers. I’m a sucker for black book covers (maybe because it’s my favorite color?)

Illustrated cover art.

Balanced size. I want my books to look good together on the shelf.

Contrasting colors. When do contrasting colors ever not look good?

Matte covers.

A short 1-2 paragraph blurb on the back cover, along with a quotation or snippet of dialogue.

That unique creamy paper color and the bookish smell that comes with it.

Appropriate size balance between the title and the author’s name.

Simple yet elegant title fonts.

Comfortable text/line spacing, even if it means more pages.

In the story…

Genuine relationships, romantic or otherwise.

Witty, quick humor in dialogue.

Man vs nature as a plot device.

Bittersweet endings (they hurt, but they’re the best).

Looming physical threats/stakes (as opposed to only emotional/situational).

Outdoor/nature/survival settings.

Build-up towards a climactic showdown involving major and minor characters.

A clear story structure and progression. I want to know where we’re going and how soon we have to get there.

Fantastical creatures, mythological and/or original.

A distinction of what is right and what is wrong and respect for the boundaries between the two.

Once again, this list is simply my opinion. If what you like to see in a book differs from what I like, please refrain from throwing kumquats at me. Instead, drop a comment and share what makes you grab a book and never put it down!

5 thoughts on “20 Things I Love To See In Books

  1. Yay for black covers. Mine is going to be black. I like bittersweet endings too. I tend to like the story more and it makes it more memorable. Happy endings can be nice but can also be boring.


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