Monday, January 23, 2017

Why Do Readers Read?

Not everyone is a reader. I know, right? What does that even mean? It's incomprehensible . . . especially to readers. A dedicated reader has TBR piles to rival Mt. Everest, a Kindle locked, loaded, and ready to fire off at a moment's notice, not to mention charge card statements where the largest slice of the pie goes to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

As a writer, it's helpful to know exactly why people read so that you can incorporate some of those elements into your story (but not all, because some are polar opposites).

7 Reasons Why Readers Read

Surprise
Some readers love unpredictability. They want plot twists that slap them upside the head and leave them laying on the floor with little stars flying overhead.

Predictability
The opposite of those who love surprise are the readers who crave predictability. These are the strict genre readers who don't want their stories to vary from the formula. You know, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. That sort of thing.

Escape
Sometimes life is pure drudgery, or worse, just plain awful. These readers want to run away from reality for awhile, go to places somewhere other than the place they're stuck in. An exotic setting, a foreign country, somewhere new and different.

Challenge
New ideas. Puzzling concepts. Complicated story lines. Some readers don't want the answers handed to them but rather love a great mind-bending experience.

Humor
This world has far more than enough tragedy. This kind of reader knows that and just wants a great belly laugh. Even if you're not writing a slapstick comedy, incorporating humor into your story is always a good idea for levity.

Adventure
Face it. Going on a real adventure is not only expensive, it can be dangerous. But who doesn't like a thrill now and then? This reader is all about action and suspense. They want to teeter on the edge of their seat while they read.

Education
Even in fiction, facts play a part, and it's those facts that some readers are eager to learn. What better way to learn than via story?

These seven elements are some of the most common reasons readers read -- but not the only reasons. Even so, incorporating one or two into a manuscript will endear you to a segment of the readerly population.

Personally, I love to read for education and surprise. How about you? Why do you like to read?

2 comments:

Tracey Hagwood said...

All of the above except predictability, if a book is too predictable why bother?

chappydebbie said...

Mostly for escape and adventure...but the other reasons fit, too.

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