XYZ… What makes you buy a book?

The A to Z Challenge almost slipped away from me these last few days but I’m determined to finish what I started so my last post will be for the three letters I missed and will also attempt to answer the question asked by The Broke and The Bookish for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday meme.


Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

Some things that make me want to buy the book instantly:

  1. Dystopian stories – I know they’ve been done to death recently but I’m such a sucker for these stories. I love the idea of one person changing the world, for the just standing up against oppression… It never gets old for me.
  2. Names starting with X. Seriously. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, and one of my favourite things about the genre are the outlandish names. Xander, Xena, Xavier – some of my favourite characters ever!
  3. Music – if the story has anything to do with music, especially classical music or conservatory life, I’m probably going to buy it.
  4. Foreign settings – While this may seem obvious considering I read SF/F, lately, if I pick up a fantasy set anywhere but pseudo middle-age Europe, I’ll probably buy it. I particularly love fantasy/sci-fi takes on Oriental and South American locations at the moment.
  5. Yggdrasil – if there’s Norse mythology in the story, I’m reading it.
  6. Dance – sadly, I haven’t read half as many dance related books as I’d like to but they’re on my TBR list and I’ll get there eventually. I’d love to read a dance-orientated dystopian novel… Like Step-Up with a real revolution… hm…

Some things that make me want to toss the book instantly:

  1. Female characters that require rescuing – if I read this sort of scenario in the blurb, chances are I won’t buy the book.
  2. Sports – I just don’t know or care enough about sports to relate to a book dedicated to the topic.
  3. Unneces’sary apost’rophes in n’ame’s – this annoys me no end in SF/F. Sure, real languages have apostrophes mid word but they do something, add an inflection, change the pronunciation, mark an elision or have some sort of purpose. Apostrophes in fantasy and sci-fi names for the sake of looking cool just irritate me.
  4. 20th Century historical settings – I love ancient history and I adore 19th Century settings but the 20th Century settings just really don’t do it for me, especially if the book is set in or around WWI and WWII.

So I failed to find something for z… Well then here’s a quirky tidbit about me as a reader for the letter ‘z.’ I have pet words, words that make me warm and fuzzy reading and that instantly make me like the author a lot more for using them (properly, of course). Some of these words include quasar, viridian, nefarious and cornucopia. Two of my favourite z words are Zenith and Zephyr, I like the last so much I’ve even named a character after the pesky Greek wind.

And thus concludes the exhausting April A to Z Challenge for 2013. I look forward to doing it again next year!

What makes you want to buy (or toss) a book instantly?


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  • Emma Lee

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only sucker for dystopian stories. 😀 I have to buy them and read them, because I just go crazy with dystopian reads.

    • Xaniver

      Join the club 🙂

  • HA!!!! Awesome!!!! I definitely agree on many of your choices!

    • Xaniver


  • Haha! Unnecessary apostrophes. Those drive me so crazy. I do love books that focus on dancers and/or music. Great list!

    Here’s my TTT

    • Xaniver

      😉 Thank you!

  • cds

    At the moment, the only fiction I will pre-order without question are books that are part of a series I’m enjoying (e.g., DIVERGENT, CINDER, SHATTER ME). I am predisposed toward books by authors I’ve enjoyed, but I want to read the blurb first.

    I won’t give erotica the time of day–really not my genre at all. And I hear you about apostrophes and other oddly-punctuated names. But more than anything, I don’t understand why fantasy/sci-fi writers have the urge to make character names hard to pronounce. It does nothing to enhance my enjoyment of the book if I’m having a hard time getting my head around Commander Xqwlryeedxqinjfl. And telling me the second “e” is silent doesn’t help! This is where, I think, the author needs to cave in to the reader a bit. What matters most: that your audience reads the story, or that your audience can decypher the character names? I’m of the opinion that you put up as few barriers as possible for the reader. Maybe that’s just me… 🙂

    • Xaniver

      I don’t mind odd character names if they serve a purpose such as showing ethnic/cultural/language differences, but made-up names that are unpronounceable are just annoying.