WRITING: Why some books are addictive

You take one hit, and you might put it down, thinking oh no, I’m going to fall into that pit of despair in that story and I’m basically going to be aching for more even after I’m done devouring those words.

And then you take another hit, and another, and before you know it’s you’re addicted to a book.
I find it takes much longer after being addicted to a few books, to continually be addicted to books, for me the addiction seems to move backwards.

I get addicted to a few stories and can’t wait for the second, third, fourth books, and will end up taking days off to read them or will plain stay up all night to read them.
Then other books are in between books, they’re like not quite as addicting, but they fill up space gaps and are enjoyable.

Then I get the urge to find a book that I can devour and so then I’m out on the prowl, looking for that next good piece of fiction that gives me an emotional reaction.

That’s what it’s all about after all, it’s about how well this book relates to me, on what level is speaks to me, if I can see myself in the characters, if I can’t put it down, if I’m so enthralled by the author’s genius that I’m dazzled, if I’m laughing, crying, afraid to leave my bed, etc. etc. That’s why books are like cocaine, and why each and every one of us is always on the prowl for that next book that is like a drug addiction. We want and need more, and can’t just be satisfied with the rest of what’s out there.

And for me, I begin to judge books more scrupulously. I think things like, “That book won’t do the trick” or “That author isn’t going to make me cry” and I peruse books wondering which one will be the one to do it for me.

I wonder what books do it for you?


Comments ( 3 )

  • A. B. England says:

    Really good characterization and character driven plots are my "hook." it could be the most amazing adventure, but if the characters are straight out of the archetype dictionary, I couldn't care less. And there's nothing more annoying than Gary/Mary Sue main characters. *cough*Kirk*cough*

  • dramaquill says:

    I'm not only addicted to particular books but also the suspense genre. Couldn't agree with you more. If a writer writes what excites him/her, it will excite the reader, too.

  • Maria Behar says:

    I agree with you and A.B! A book has to 'speak' to the reader, and I think it does so mostly through the characters. If characters don't feel like real people, if one can't slip into their skins and somehow become them, then the book won't be addictive. Of course, I'm talking about the protagonist and any other characters related to the protagonist. In other words — &

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