Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Instantly Want to Read a Book

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

All of these things are green lights for me when deciding whether to try a book. The more of them that pop up, the better the chances are of me loving that story!

1. Moderately descriptive writing.

I want to be able to clearly imagine what the characters and settings look like, but I don’t want read Tolkien-like works that describe everything in minute detail over many pages. Yes, some stories need to have long, flowery descriptions in them, but they are generally not my cup of tea.

2. Complex characters

They do not need to be people I’d ever want to spend time with, in real life, but they should have plenty of interesting and surprising layers to their personalities that are slowly peeled back as the storyline progresses.

Character development is one of those things that can pull book down to a low rating or catapult it to a five-star read depending on how well it’s done!

3. Diversity

Diverse reads are automatically pushed to the top of my TBR.


4. Little to no romance

Kudos to all of the romance readers out there! While I do sometimes enjoy books that have a dash of romance sometimes, I prefer characters who pursue other goals in life most of the time.


5. Lots of platonic relationships

This is something I’d be thrilled to see a lot more of in stories in general. Show me the relationships between relatives, coworkers, friends, enemies, acquaintances, neighbors, and more. I love seeing how character relate to each other in these moments. The more complicated things are between everyone, the better.

I also find it much more interesting to read romances that develop from longterm friendships because that’s how I ended up falling in love with my spouse.


6. Short stories or novellas

While I do enjoy longer works as well, my sweet spot is something that can be read in an afternoon.


7. Historical accuracy

Whether it’s historical fiction, a biography, or a nonfiction work about the past, I want it to be as historically accurate as possible.


8. Puns

The cozy mystery genre excels at coming up with all sorts of puns for their titles. I wish this trend would spread to other genres more often. I love it.


9. Scientific accuracy

Hard science fiction is difficult to write but so much fun to read. I love stopping a chapter or two into these sorts of books to research anything from cordyceps to what astronauts are actually trained to do to see where the line truly is between fiction and fact.

Sometimes there is a lot of fiction added when you’re talking about a TV show like The Last of Us, but it still taught me all sorts of interesting things about how some species of cordyceps infect certain species of ants. In other cases, stories like Andy Weir’s The Martian are surprisingly accurate in the majority of their scenes!


10.Playful use of tropes.

It’s always cool to see authors acknowledge the tropes in their genres and then play around with them in unusual ways or even gently poke fun of them.


  1. Tropes being playful is fun and I like the friendship romances. It works well in movies too especially if they only have 90 minutes to convince us the couple is really in love. 🙂

  2. Rosina @ Lace and Dagger Books says

    For me it’s historical accuracy I need over scientific accuracy but that’s why I rarely read historical fiction.

    • That makes sense. 🙂 I’m sure it’s hard to write a very historically accurate novel, especially as one goes further back in time when certain facts are less well known.

  3. No romance! Sigh. I get it. But as a romance reader that makes me sad. 😉

  4. I am 100% with you when it comes to historic and scientific accuracy. I love both genres and like you whenever I run into something new I like to research it so It becomes quite annoying when the books don’t follow history or facts

  5. Yes for platonic love, I love romance, but i want to read more about friendship, self-love, all kinds of love

    • Glad to hear it. Yes, loving yourself is also important! Your relationship with yourself affects so many different things in life.

  6. Agree on the platonic aspects! Not every book needs proximity romance ugh!

  7. Your list is great and not things I would have necessarily considered but think all of them are good reasons. I, too, like to see more platonic relationships in books. I feel like sometimes the romance part of it is too forced.

    • Thank you!

      Yeah, I’ve gotten that impression with certain books, too. I only wish that all of the romance could be balanced out with the many other types of relationships people have with each other.

  8. I agree with #1. I mean, I love Tolkien, but not everything needs to be described down to a T. And short stories/ novellas. YES. I am loving shorter reads lately…

    • Glad to hear it.

      There were definitely a lot of things I liked about Tolkien’s work, but I have limited patience for very long descriptions these days. 🙂

  9. I love books that explore non-romantic relationships too! And a creative twist on a trope is always a plus 🙂

  10. Ha–we have almost none of these in common! I love a good trope, and I adore romance. But I’m glad you’ve got so many great reasons for reading! 🙂

    • Thank you. I love the diversity of the Top Ten Tuesday bloggers. There’s truly something for everyone. 🙂

  11. I agree with your entire list! especially the diversity and platonic relationships.

    thank you for posting

  12. I have to agree with so many of these. Diversity is one of the things that’ll get me to pick up a book, because it means that I’m going to probably learn something or challenge myself while reading. And while reading? Definitely complex characters and platonic relationships – those can take a book from just okay to amazing!

  13. Other than short stories/novellas, which I generally shy away from, and hard science fiction, which I don’t read, I agree with all of of these. #1 is exactly how I feel. I love gorgeous prose, but I don’t want to read pages and pages of description. That just makes me bored!

    Happy TTT!


  14. A great list. I don’t like too much romance either. It used to be a genre that I avoided completely, but then I read The Love Hypothesis and enjoyed it so tried others. Thrillers and Mystery will always be more my thing though I think!

    Have a great week!

  15. I’m always really easily swayed by a good cozy mystery pun! If the title’s clever/funny, it definitely ups the chances I’ll grab it.

  16. For me, it’d have to be books about books. Happy reading! My TTT

  17. I do love a good pun in a title too! And I love a lot of tropes, but it’s always so nice to see an author play around with them 🙂

  18. I do want the historical fiction I read to be as accurate as possible, but I don’t mind if authors take some historical liberties if it enhances the story and they have an understandable reason for doing so. I’ve found that historical fiction writers tend to be much better at doing their research than historical TV writers who sometimes have me shouting at the TV at some of the more basic historical errors they make! I definitely agree with you on #4 and #5, I’m not a very big romance reader, and the platonic relationships in a character’s life are far more important to me than their romance and I really wish these were focused on more. I would probably agree with you on moderately descriptive writing, I don’t need as much description as most because I really don’t visualise anything when I read so lots of description is wasted on me but I do want a decent idea of the setting the book takes place in and what the characters look like.
    My TTT:

    • What a detailed comment! I enjoyed it.

      Yeah, tv writing tends to be worse with historical accuracy than books do. Maybe it’s because they have less time to check heir facts?

      My spouse can’t visualize stuff either.

  19. Playful tropes is a good one!! I like when they can think outside the box a bit. Great list.

  20. Moderately descriptive writing is a great way to put it! I agree! And diversity is a great one, too. Very important!

  21. Diversity reads yes <3

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