What stops me from buying your book

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There are a few things that make me put a book back on the shelf and not buy it. 

A: the cover

The cover of a book should get me interested in the story, maybe it is a challenge, dare to read this book. Too often, the cover is very generic and doesn’t make me curious. But the next point is much worse.

B: the back of the book

There, I want to read a blurb of the book’s location, the plot, some character names, and what they face in the story. If all I see is generally phrased celebrity reviews and stickers about newspapers or publishers book lists, my interest in that book goes down. 

C: the font

Maybe this is showing my age but the smaller the font the less likely I am to read the book. For context, I sit behind a computer and read all day. Internet archive research, reading reports, writing case analyses, book reviews, all day my eyes are hard at work. Publishers I work with know that I want a manuscript or ARC in paper form, no PDFs as I need time away from the screen. And, what I read has to be eye-friendly. So, a font size of 10 isn’t for me. 

D: the margin in the middle

If the margin near the spine is narrow or, if the binding is very tight, there’s the risk that you feel the need to crack the spine just so you can read the whole text. A lot of older books and cheaper publications have this and unless I cannot get that book anywhere else, I don’t buy it. 

E: the chapters

Some writers make their chapters super long and others have a one page chapter. It makes no sense. The chapter size is part of the narrative flow. It is the emotional control system build in the book to move the reader from highs to a temporary slow-down before the story picks up pace again, etc. 

These are just a few things that I note about a book while book browsing. What turns you off about a book? 

Gratitude Wednesday

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I don’t know what to put on my Christmas list. That means that my family has a harder time shopping for me. But you know what? I am grateful that I don’t know what to ask for Christmas.

It is privilege, yes, a warm home, a full refrigerator, a stuffed pantry, lots of clothes and books, and I have my health and my family. We love each other and we like spending time together. I think that I have everything I want.

Ideally, I’d like a large portion of world peace. I actually ask for it every year. My family knows it is a heart wish, a sincere heart wish, and what we can contribute, we do. But a lot is out of our hands. So, we work on peace in our own small corner of the world.

I will probably put some books and scarves on my wish list, perfume, and maybe a pair of fuzzy socks. But that will be it. I have what I have always coveted. My own little world filled with people whom I love and like.

Rude Awakening

As of now, there is luckily no confirmation of any armed threat so, that it is the good news. The bad news is, that people still feel the need to either just say something and joke about violence or, express a threat.

If anyone thinks that it is funny to drop the ‘I have a gun’ and ‘when is the campus most active?’ lines, you should think again. In fact, you should take a hard look at yourself. Joking about violence is never fun. Joking about violence at a university where a massacre took place, is even worse.

People at Virginia Tech, and the Blacksburg locals, all have their own memories of how they experienced and/or survived April 16, 2007. They all have their own emotional triggers. Some more profound and clear than others, but the fear is there. And partially, it was there again this morning.

If you made these remarks as a joke or, just to see how fast you can get a combined law enforcement task force of Virginia Tech Police backed up by Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Virginia State Police, at campus, you need help.

Not only did you mess with people’s schedules and class organizations, you messed with people’s emotions. You forced some to relive the massacre, you scared young people who should feel safe at our campus, and you wasted precious time and manpower from all law enforcement officers who saturated campus to investigate. You should be ashamed of yourself. I also think that you should be presented the bill of all the expenses made today.

If these remarks were made as a real threat, law enforcement will find you. Because, you see, the Hokie Nation is a tight community. We always prevail.