This 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?