Book blogger hop: preferred reads

book-blogger-hop-finalThis week, for the first time in a while, I’m joining in with Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer‘s book blogger hop, where they post a question which you and other bloggers answer, hopping from blog to blog to see people’s answers. This week, the question is…

When you start reading a novel, do you prefer to be plunged right into the action, or do you prefer a slower, more descriptive introduction to the plot and characters?

This is a question that pops into my head quite a bit – what I prefer in a new book – mainly, I think, because I regularly join in with the first chapter, first paragraph meme by Diana at Bibliophile by the Sea. I always pick the book I’m reading that day (or am about to start) and sometimes all it takes is a few sentences to get me completely hooked.  I know straight away if that is a book I am likely to like.  For me, it normally involves finding someone in peril but for others it might be a moment leading up to a kiss or a tear.

My choices often come from prologues, which I think plunge you right into the action.  They are pretty much standard fare for crime fiction, mysteries and thrillers these days and something I have a love / hate relationship with if I’m honest.  I love them because they draw me in.  Hate them (well, dislike them strongly) because they can sometimes make you think you are getting something you are not.

But then, whilst I read crime and mysteries more than anything else, looking at my favourite books of last year, a lot were slow burns.  The type of book that you find out nothing about in the first paragraph at all, or very little.  These do let the characters and the story grow over the pages and sometimes you are a 100 pages in before you realise you haven’t put the book down for an hour and need to stay up all night to finish it.

So, going back to the question, the answer is I read more books that plunge me right into the action which makes them my preferred choice but I probably enjoy slower, more descriptive books, more than I think and would definitely never turn one away if it caught my eye.

What about you, what is your preferred read?

Emma

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24 thoughts on “Book blogger hop: preferred reads

  1. I share the mindset that both have their good points and the preference might only be very slightly towards one option. However, I prefer the slow, descriptive starts rather than jumping right into the action.

    I can see how mysteries and thrillers call for that type of start at times. There’s not much action to be had in the genre that I usually frequent (drama filled historical fiction).

    This was a great post! Hope you have a lovely weekend.

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    • Thank you. No historical fiction needs more scene setting I would imagine. It’s not a genre I read a lot of and then it’s quite recent history (20th century) so that can have quite a bang at the beginning sometimes. You have to start to understand the period though. Thanks for stopping by.

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    • thank you! I think it’s about giving the book time if you don’t get a hook straight away. If I like the writing and the characters I am willing to keep going – usually till the end.

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  2. My go-to genres are science fiction and fantasy and despite the fact I seem to read a lot of fantasy – nothing quite thrills me as much as a really well-told sci fi tale. Other than that, I also enjoy good historical adventure stories, children’s books and some crime.

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  3. When it’s a plot driven novel like a thriller or mystery I do like to start with a big hook but I am a little more lenient when it comes to more character driven books. As long as I’m interested I’m okay either way! Love your thought process! I hadn’t realized what catches me in the first paragraph type memes – especially when I know nothing about the book.

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    • I think as long as you know what type of book you are reading you can give a little if there is no hook. If that’s what you normally read though then don’t get it it’s probably off putting,

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  4. The use of each style definitely depends on the type of genre. Of course thrillers and mysteries do need to use the faster approach, as this will immediately pull the reader in. However, this narrative style is also common with other popular genres, such as science fiction, romance, and YA fiction.

    I can and do enjoy both styles, depending on my mood. There are times when I will want to get right into the story, while at other times, I prefer to savor the beauty of the prose just as much as the plot and characters.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful weekend!! 🙂

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  5. What an interesting question, and answer. Like you I read a lot where the action is fairly immediate but a lot of my favourite reads aren’t like that at all. It’s like pace, sometimes I prefer to meander not sprint.

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    • It is isn’t it. It’s why I wanted to answer it. What is it they say about the best things come to those who wait…or have the patience to read a slow build?

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  6. Loved your answer, but to me I need to be plunged right into action or I may lose interest in the book… unfortunately. This being said, it does not happen all the time of course, there will always be exceptions to the rules.

    Lovely blog by the way, just followed 🙂

    Lii @ Girl Hearts Book

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    • Thank you. I get the losing interest. An instant hook means you have to know what’s next. It takes special writing for me when it’s a slow burn, which is probably why I like these so much in the end. Thanks for the follow 😀

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  7. For me it really depends on the book and the mood I’m in. Like you, I read a lot of crime fiction and they certainly do tend to jump right in–or close to it. But, again like you, my year end favorites often are the ones that tend to be more slow burning.

    I hope you have a great week! Thank you for sharing.

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