I read a lot of books. So far in 2020 (as of July when I’m writing this post) I’ve already read over 200 books this year, in a wide range of genres. And I have over 200 more books on my physical TBR waiting for me, but there’s a few things that make me pick up a book faster than others.
Well, there is one specific thing that will always move a book to the top of my TBR:
There’s a horse in the story
If I know that horses are a main part of the story, or even if there is just a horse on the cover, I’m instantly adding that book to my TBR. They are the ultimate animal companion and the best animal. They could never steer me wrong.
A horse on the cover is actually how I stumbled into the high/epic fantasy genre, and now it’s one of my favourites. I was maybe 13 when I saw the cover of The Starthorn Tree and Rhiannon’s Ride by Kate Forsyth with their winged horses and HOW COULD I RESIST?
From there it was a gateway to Witches of Eileanan series, which showed me how wonderful the worlds of high fantasy could be. Now it’s one of my favourite genres.
Some of my all time favourite books have horses as a main feature of the story. Case in point: The Scorpio Races. It’s the ultimate underdog horse girl story and you know you loved those stories as a kid. This has a bonus side of interesting mythology because the horse in The Scorpio Races are vicious and deadly.
Horses on covers has also made me give a series a second chance. Falling Kingdoms was a book I felt meh about. I was on the fence about giving the sequels a go, but then the spin off series was announced. And the first book, A Book of Spirits and Thieves, has a beautiful white horse on the front. I instantly needed it.
What really makes me pick up a book?
On a more serious note, there are a few tropes I really enjoy in books and am more likely to pick up:
- Chosen One plots
- Epic quests
- Dragons and other mythical creatures
- Girl-disguised-as-boy to infiltrate a male-only group or school
- Elemental magic
- Animal companions (such as horses)
- Enemies/ hate to love and/or marriage of convenience plots