Do you ever read a word or phrase that sparks a specific place or setting in your mind and makes you crave to read a book with that type of place/setting in it?
As I sit here on this sunny, warm Memorial Day, I realize I am unusual. I hate the heat. I dislike summer. I am not that fond of the sun. A bright sunny day does not make me happy. In real life or in my books.
But set a book on a foggy, gray coast or in a snowstorm or in a damp, drizzling rain and I am there!
It happen just recently. Someone, a commentator on my blog, asked if I had read a book and thought I might like it. So I went off to Amazon or Library Thing to read what the book was about and there was mention of coastlines and the ocean and lighthouses...and you know I have to read it. If they had added cold, rain and a snowstorm and I would have paid for express shipping. Fog, rain, snow, coast, lighthouse, boats, crashing waves are all words that can provoke interest in a book for me.
Well, that and a serial killer.
Yes, part of it is personal preferences. I like those things myself and so I find books with those settings somehow comforting. But it is more than that. I like mysteries, suspense...thrillers, and atmospheric settings like that suit a good mystery. Dark, evil things can lurk in the fog easier than in the bright sun. But it is more than that. In my mind, any book, in just about any genre, is well served by being set in a place where the characters need a waterproof coat and mittens.
Yes, OK, it is not necessary and I have read many, many very good books set in far different places. And it is not a guarantee of success. I am sure I have read books set in a place like that which I did not enjoy, although I can't think of one at the moment. But I will admit that a setting like I describe predisposes me to go to that happy, comfy place in my mind where all books are wonderful.
If I am browsing, whether online or in a 'real' bookstore, and I see any of those words in the cover description, it is going to get a second, closer look and I can start to feel myself starting that journey to the place that an enjoyable book takes me.