What Is The THING That Makes You Connect with a Book?

My husband is NOT a reader.  In the seven years we’ve been married, he’s read maybe twenty-five books and only that many because he travels.*  Reading is just not his thing.

I’ve been trying to convince him to read The Hunger Games before I force him to take me to the movie. I thought of the (few) books I’d seen him read and tried to tailor the perfect pitch.

“There’s lots of action and violence, like a Clancy.”

Nothing. 

“It’s a cool blend of sci-fi and survival.  You know…sort of like Bear Grylls meets Star Trek?”

Crickets.

“The story is about this cool, tough chick who sacrifices for her family.  And she’s in love with–nevermind.”

Stares at me, eyes glaze over.

“I know…I know…it’s like college football! Like college football hooked up with Halo and had a baby!” 

He blinks.  “That sounds awful.”

Sigh. (The last one was a bit of a stretch.  Football is a game…and that’s the end of the similarities.)

I couldn’t hook him with action, with setting, with characters, and he’d already said a big fat no to the plot.  And with that, I quit trying.

With my husband, I have no idea what makes him love a book. For me, it’s all about character. 

I won’t read a book if I can’t connect with the characters.  There has to be some reason for me to relate with/like them.  Maybe it’s voice, maybe it’s their situation, maybe it’s their reaction to every day events.  If I don’t like the main character, I put the book down.  The End.

What is the hook for you?  Is it more than one thing? 

*Hubby says it’s closer to fifty books.  He read a whole series of RA Salvatore’s dark elf books. So maybe his count is more like thirty-five.

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