Guys, I found this discussion on Twitter and I find it such an amazing topic. Especially for us, writers, who want to sell our books. If we want to do that, we need to understand why people buy books. Also, writers are also read-a-holics, so this is a very fun topic, for me at least.
Thinking about my reasons first, I buy a book because it’s a form of entertainment that makes me think, takes me to other places, and teaches me things. It makes me smarter while I enjoy myself! What is better than that?
So, let’s start the compilation of reasons that people said on Twitter. This is not in one particular order.
1. For the Characters
100% agree with that. For me, the characters MAKE the story. I don’t care about description or prose. I actually am guilty of skipping the descriptions and reading only the dialogues. Characters are life.
That’s why I wrote this article about how to develop your character properly. For me, this is one of the most important parts of writing.
2. To Entertain
It’s true that not all books are made for entertainment. But, for me, as a reader, I really like books that do that to me. I don’t think it’s the only reason why a book should exist (because there are easier and more mind-numbing ways to get entertainment, aka Youtube or Netflix) but, for me, it plays a big role. I PERSONALLY don’t really like sad stories for this reason. I’m here to feel good!
3. The Smell
I couldn’t stop smelling my own book when it came.
4. Way to travel between places and universes
This is the point to me.
I read a book to see other things, to go to places I wouldn’t be able otherwise, to find other people (sometimes magical people, aliens, vampires, people that don’t exist), to live other adventures for a while.
While you can get it with a movie, it doesn’t exist a better way than with a book since you’re fully immersed in the story for a long time. A movie is gone in 2 hours and it doesn’t contain the deepness that a book can provide you.
5. A Different Way to Face Reality
It’s easier to look at that message when you think that is fantasy. A books’ thing. Even though, it can convey a powerful message of our own world.
This is one of the reasons that I write.
Through the books’ scenes, I wish to make people think and reflect on our own reality. It’s not direct and screaming in their faces how everything is wrong like it would be if it were non-fiction, but it’s a subtle way of remembering them: look, there are some very, very wrong things happening in this story… and in your own world as well.
6. Alternative to your phone (and Netflix)
This one is interesting.
Sometimes, after scrolling endlessly through Instagram, you start to wonder what you’re doing with your life. You’re seeing all those images with no meaning whatsoever… why are you wasting your life with that?
A book makes us feel better with ourselves. It’s an alternative to the other forms of entertainment. It’s deeper. It makes you learn. And, it makes me feel better. When I’m reading a book instead of seeing all those fake photos of lives that are not a bit like what they seem to be on social media.
I’d much rather read a book.
7. Cover, Title, Blurb, It seems interesting, You know the author, Genre
Sometimes, people buy books just because they are products.
Yep. Read about my article here on how your book is a product.
They don’t even intend to read the book but they like how it looks, it would make a great thing in their homes, it looks appealing, so they buy it.
I know people that don’t even like to read, don’t read one book a year, and still buys piles of books. They are a nice object to have around. And they can nurture the hope of reading it one day.
I’m guilty of doing this too. The book seems too good to say no, so you buy it and it sits on your shelf unread forever.
However, your shelf goes really well in your home decoration.
Nothing wrong with that. You buy because you have money and you want.
Again, a book is a product.
Sometimes, as writers, we forget that. A book must have commercial appeal for it to be sold.
8. A Healthy Escape from Reality
I like this answer because it’s so true.
It’s hard and boring to face reality all the time.
Every human (and even animals) is looking for a way to escape reality for a while. Escaping it in a healthy way (without drugs) is good for your mental health. We need this. I think it’s a human condition. Otherwise, you go crazy with how boring real life can be. Full of chores and work.
It helps with the day to day stress of real life.
In other words (and I don’t want to exaggerate, but already doing it): reading is a way to keep yourself healthy and happy!
So, guys, go read!
Entertainment, to escape, to live adventures, to go to other places, for the message
This is basically the summary of what I’ve told already but the majority of the messages agreed with these points. For the entertainment that the book provides, to escape for a while from the reality in a way any other form of entertainment can provide: for hours, in a very deep touching way. To understand our world better through the message the book passes. To go on adventures and meet people that don’t even exist but can change your own life even in a more profound way than those that exist.
I think that’s it. There were also answers about putting books to maintain the legs of a table straight, to hold the doors, or to kill mosquitos. Fair enough.
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