I Blame the Books

How do you like to read?

I have a few places around the house where I can just sit for hours and get into a good novel.  There’s my window seat, where the sun is mostly shining during the summer.  There’s my back patio or the hammock in my backyard, but since I hate reading hard copies of books while lying on my back, the hammock is usually reserved for those rare occasions when I crack open my Kindle.  And then there’s my sun room, which has big windows and is a great place to sit on a rocking chair and read.

In these places, I can enjoy my book more.  It’s where I’m rarely disturbed and can have a constant light source as well as a peaceful environment.  These places are often where I’m happiest, to tell you the truth.  There is nothing like sitting down in a comfy spot with a good book.  If I’m not completely at ease where I am, I tend to fidget a lot and thus read more slowly and can’t get into the story as much.

The view from my window seat. Oh, and Tiger's here, too.

So I’ve covered my favorite places to read.  But there’s more to how I like to read than that.  I often also like to have a snack near me, especially during the summer.  Usually it’s of the salty variety: pretzels or Goldfish or tortilla chips.  A couple of years ago it was often M&M’s, as we had a near-constant supply in our house at the time.

I don’t know what it is about food and books, or about sunny, quiet places and books, but for some reason it just clicks for me.  I find that my reading sessions are often longer and I can concentrate more on the book when I have something to munch.  Perhaps it’s an extension of the I-eat-when-I’m-bored thing, except in this case it’s the mere act (or, rather, the lack thereof) of sitting still for a long period of time without doing much physically.

I know it’s probably not a healthy habit, but it certainly helps to put me at ease and relax when I want to just settle down and escape into the pages.

When I start gaining weight, though, I’ll blame the books.

What about you, lovely readers?  Do you have a specific place where you like to read?  Are you an eater as well as a reader, like me?

Oh, while I’m here I should probably acknowledge the fact that this is my 100th post.  For some reason or another, I don’t put as much stock in the number of posts as I do in, say, the blog’s yearly anniversary, but it’s nice to know how far I’ve come.  Honestly, I’m surprised it’s only this many posts I’ve done.  Ever since joining WordPress, I’ve had so much fun and learned a lot in the process of writing more than I used to, not to mention the fact that I’ve come in contact with so many awesome bloggers along the way!  It feels like I’ve been doing this for a lot longer than 100 posts.  Well, here’s to another 100, and another, and another…

Happy reading!

P.S. Sorry there was only one picture today.  Apparently WordPress isn’t liking me taking photos from other sites.  I don’t know what’s up.

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What to Look For In Your Fictional Boyfriend

Or Girlfriend, If You Are So Inclined.

But I’m going to be talking about boys in this case, so if you’re not into guys, just substitute the word “girl” in there, ok?

Ok.

Here’s the deal.  Fictional boys are always perfect.  Always.  The heroine ends up with the perfect guy.  Every time.  There’s a reason girls will pick Teams and fight viciously over which one is better.  It’s because most of them wish their chosen dude was real.

Truth.

(It’s kind of depressing, when you think about it, considering none of them will ever really exist.  Sigh.)

However, I learned recently that there is such thing as too perfect.  As in, this guy is handsome, he’s athletic, he’s smart, and he’s student body president.  The kind of guy that does everything right, all the time.  This example is Ian, a character in Carrie Jones’ book, Need.

Behold, thine visual!

Since the first time Ian showed up, I was wary of him.  The protagonist was a new girl, and kind of emotionally dead (but I won’t get into that).  Ian didn’t care.  He was just there, showing up, all the time, always with a gigantic smile and just the right thing to say.

It wasn’t sweet.  It was creepy.  Ian was a creep.  A friend who had loaned me the book asked who I thought was a pixie (because, oh yeah, this book involves pixies).  I automatically answered with Ian.  He was too perfect.  No human could act like that, all the time.

I suppose it’s confusing that a guy’s perfection can be exactly the reason I don’t like him.  After all, aren’t all women searching for “the perfect guy?”  This book helped me learn that technical perfection is not the same as what a protagonist actually needs.  Writing a good boyfriend-type figure is much harder than it seems.

The protagonist needs someone who is kind, and understands her, and sure, let’s put good looks into the equation, because what fictional boyfriend doesn’t have those?  But the guy should also have enough flaws that he seems real.  Ian didn’t seem real to me.  Every person has flaws, but he didn’t appear to have any.  No matter how good the guy, they have to be believable, and that means putting some kind of vulnerability or vice in there.  This is something I think all writers have to remember when creating romance within their works.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the perfect fictional boyfriend isn’t perfect.  He’s flawed.  He’s real.  He’s human.

And he’s mine.

Happy reading!

 

P.S. Oh, and the pixie bit?  Yeah, I’m not telling whether I was right or not.

P.P.S. Quick review: Need was an awesome book.  Even with Ian in it.  My only negative thought is that it was EXTREMELY Twilight-ish.  Not exactly, but close enough to make some pretty major comparisons.  I think I like Need better, though, because the protagonist ends up with the guy she SHOULD end up with.  Tomorrow, though, I’m most likely going to talk about Divergent, which is AMAZING.  So stay tuned!

P.P.P.S. This is my 50th post!  WOO!  Party!

This is basically our Golden Anniversary. But with posts.