Monday, December 23, 2013

Why I Love Reading {1}


So I got to thinking about trying to add more discussion posts and variety to the blog and discuss more about reading habits and adding in more personal posts. I came up with an idea and I don’t know how many of these little entries I can come up with or do but I wanted to explore and look at the number of reasons why I love reading or what makes me love a book. The first, and the most obvious, to me was connecting with characters. We all love a character that reminds them of themselves or have a trait you know is unique to you that a character shows up sharing. You feel a connection. You feel involved. You feel like you “get” the character.

I find myself doing this a lot with even the most miniscule detail. When I read, I love to connect with the characters and get all the feels. I’ll do this by trying to find a similarity with the main character. What they look like. They’re personality. Their vocabulary. I live for this. As humans, we are so complex and we have so many different faces we wear and personality traits that make us unique, that I find it so amazing when I can find something I have in common with the hundreds of characters I read about. It doesn’t always happen. But there is a magical moment when I find myself reading about a character that I’m like, whoa, that sounds a lot like me. Mostly, it’s the smartass, snarky characters who don’t know when to shut up or back down from a fight *coughRoseandKatnisscough*. But I love this! It makes me laugh or feel like yeah, I could hack it in a YA novel. And hey, maybe I could get a swoony boy to fall for me. Just kidding…kinda…not really...

And then there are a few characters that it just gets real creepy with. You know, when a character either says or acts waaaay too similar to you. I got this from Nastya in The Sea of Tranquility and, more recently, Queenie in Nowhere but Home. I wrote in my review for TSoT all the things that made us similar. It was small stuff. Insignificant in the long run of life but it was unique to me. I was stunned while reading because every 20 minutes I was saying, whoa that’s totally something I say, do, or love. Creeped me out in the best way.


Queenie from Nowhere but Home never backs down from a fight. She almost goes looking for it in way. I identified with this completely. I was bullied as a kid and adolescent and while I may be the nicest person you ever meet...you cross me and it will be something you regret. My mother herself always says to me, ‘why can’t you just get along with everyone?’ and ‘why are you always the one arguing with people?’ Well, MOM it’s because I can’t stand other people being disrespectful, ignorant, or rude. So YES, I AM going to say something and YES I’m going to stand up to people. Reading about Queenie having a similar attitude and owning it made me love her even more than I normally would have.

Sky from Hopeless is another character I found myself really relating to. While I cannot relate to the horrors she has been dealt in life, her inner voice and thoughts hit me in such a way that I thought was so unique to me. There are a few things that she believes and thinks that just BLEW me away with similarity creepiness. I felt like I was alone in my thinking and there Colleen Hoover goes saying exactly what I’ve thought in my head for years.

I love moments like this because I find myself understanding the character and their actions so much better. It makes my reading experience so much more in-depth and more personal if I can find even one small thing to connect to and build off of. The books that don't resonate and stay with me are the ones whose characters I have nothing to relate to. I really enjoy trying to find a piece of myself in each character that I love.

Do you guys do this, too? Do you find something to connect yourself to a character? Or do you like more of the objective view?

12 comments:

  1. I find myself liking books more if I can connect to the characters. Even if it's small things I like to recognize them. I even made up a certain blog feature on my blog for ways that I can connect to characters called Beyond the Book and it runs on Mondays. But even still, if I don't end up connecting with the characters, I won't HATE it, but I admit, it probably won't stay with me as much as if I had connected with them.

    Great topic!

    Nikki H @ Take Me Away...

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    1. Oh I didn't know you did a feature like that! I'll have to check it out! I love that title, too! I agree, I won't hate the book if it has good content and writing, etc. obviously but it won't be a book that really stays with me or will become one of my favorites of all time.

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  2. I absolutely love books more if I can connect to the characters. Sometimes it's through a similarity to myself, but I also love seeing other people I love in characters. Like Cath from Fangirl is exactly like my older sister and I felt really connected to her in that sister way while reading. I also love when I can see pieces of my husband in the swoony boys. (That way I don't feel so guilty.....LOL) If I can't connect with the characters, I won't enjoy the book that much even if the plot is awesome.

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    1. Aw, I love Cath from Fangirl! Your sister must be pretty freakin' cool! I'll still enjoy the book but it won't be one that will be one of my all-time favorites. I have to connect a little for it to be one that really sticks as a favorite.

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  3. Mmm... I came to comment on your TTT, but it ISN'T HERE. Did your dog eat it?? Did you leave it on the bus?? Accidentally flush it down the toilet? Yeah, not buying it. Anyway, this post... You truly are a warrior like many of these kick butt YA characters. You remind me a bit of Kat too from Alice in Zombieland-- the way you always have your friends backs, say what you think, and don't take crap from people. LOVE IT. I heart you so hard for those qualities. With that said, I want you to pick a character that reminds YOU of ME. None of this moroi body crap... I definitely gained my holiday 15 (okay, more like 5). Pick someone! Or am I one of a kind?? ;) #coolkids Mr. Betty is just like Cole Holland. The way he gets up out of bed in the middle of the night when I hear a noise... always ready and willing to fight the zombies. ;)

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    1. I totally lost track of time! Then last week I did a double at work so it was just not happening. You make my frickin' day! That is like the biggest compliment ever that you see me similar to warrior-like ass-kicking characters. AND KAT!?!? You are the best friend ever because you're totally Alice! If I can't have Cole ALL the time, I can take Frosty...rawr... I am so going to find a YA twin for you! You also are one of a kind though even if I do find you a YA twin :) #coolkids

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  4. Great post! I love it when I can identify with a character and you're right, it's definitely one of the best things about reading when that happens. It draws you into a story in a way that not much else can and you feel almost like you're reading an alternate version of yourself!

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    1. Yes! It's like, if I have to be in a crazy dystopian world I want to be like you! Haha

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  5. Great post!! I was reading a few weeks ago and stumbled upon a quote that sounded like I wrote it myself. I immediately read it outloud to James and was like OMG THIS IS WHAT I THINK SO MUCH. It was very strange but instantly, I felt connected with the character. I love when that happens, even if I don't necessarily agree with everything the character is doing. Just a little similarity really resonates with me and I'm pretty much a fan of the book for life.

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  6. While I don't always necessarily have to connect to a character to enjoy a story, that connection is one of the reasons I'd mark a book as a 5 star read on Goodreads. It's seriously enjoyable and often surprising to see how authors can equip characters with traits that remind readers of themselves. I know it's happened to me more than once -- and definitely heightened my enjoyment of a book. Specific examples: I related to Allyson's journey to discovering her own strength in Just One Day, Parker's journey to breaking out of her shell in Golden and even Kate's own journey with regards to faith in Things I Can't Forget.

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  7. I think making that connection to a character is what makes a book extra special and its great when you can see a small part of yourself reflected in one. I don't dislike books if I can't make that connection but I do find myself enjoying them less.

    http://agirlinbookland.blogspot.co.uk/

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  8. I don't know that I've ever connected to a character to the point where I was creeped out by our similarities, but I definitely appreciate when I can relate to how the character feels/reacts to situations. It doesn't always make or break a book for me, but it definitely makes it easier to love them when I feel like I already know them!

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