There are a few things in books that I absolutely want to see more of, but unfortunately, they aren’t that popular. Or I have bad taste. But, regardless, here’s a list of 5 Things I Want to See More of in Books!
There’s nothing more fun than a good map at the front of a new book. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I’m a big fan of fantasy and sci-fi, the two genres most known for maps. I simply can’t get enough detailed drawings to literally set the setting of the book.
If an author includes multiple maps with zoomed-in versions, I will take that book home with me without even reading the book blurb. That’s how exciting maps are.
My favorite books with maps include: “Game of Thrones,” “Red Rising,” “The Way of Kings,” and “The Name of the Wind.”
2. Chapter Titles
I want every book I ever read to have chapter titles. Is that too much to ask? Maybe.
I’m a big fan of chapter titles in all genres. It seems to be a bigger trend in genres like self-help or memoirs, but not so much in novels or fiction. Descriptive titles can really make a difference when navigating self-help books or something more instructional, so it makes sense they are pretty popular there. But, I think other authors are missing out on something good.
Funny, serious, foreboding, or revealing. Chapter titles add so much to my reading experience that I want to see more of them.
We all know authors work ridiculously hard on their books. But isn’t it nice to know the ‘why’ behind their insane passion projects? Don’t you want to know their inspirations and muses?
I want to see more book dedications because they give me a real sense of connection to the author. It’s a glimpse into their personal world and at the people they admire most in the world.
For example, check out Andy Weir’s dedication in “Artemis”:
“For Michael Collins, Dick Gordon, Jack Swigert, Stu Roosa, Al Worden, Ken Mattingly, and Ron Evans. Because those guys don’t get nearly enough credit.”-Andy Weir, “Artemis”
If you’ve ever googled the people in a book dedication to find out who they are, you’re probably a book nerd. Welcome to the club. (By the way, all of those people in Weir’s dedication are astronauts.)
Most dedications are heartfelt and serious, but check out this hilarious one by Dan Wells:
“This book is dedicated to everybody you hate. Sorry. Life’s like that sometimes.”-Dan Wells, “Ruins”
4. Table of Contents
I want to see more books with a table of contents. I love scanning the beginning of the book to read what’s coming up, including multiple parts, number of chapters, multiple narrators, appendixes, and more.
A table of contents is obviously pretty handy in non-fiction books, but I want to see more fiction books taking it on as well. There’s something reassuring about knowing what’s coming.
Major shout-out to the Stormlight Archives series for having an amazing table of contents in each book!
This last one is a bit complicated because it covers quite a few things that I’ve decided to lump together. Basically, I want to see more books with ornamentation in the form of graphics on the title or chapter pages, full-page pictures or sketches, and stylized fonts or details.
Basically, I want authors to make books look pretty.
Not every book or genre needs this, but I enjoy a good photo section in a memoir/biography, or title page sketches in fantasy, or maybe some charts/graphs in a business guide.
It lightens up the mood and slows my reading pace, allowing me to savor the book.
I like all of the above except that maps and images are hard to see when using either a Kindle or a Nook, not so much when reading with the app on your PC though. I would add to this list “genealogies”. Sometimes I write down who’s who and from whom because I get a bit confused with their family tree. I started doing that on random piece of paper and stuck it in my book when I finished it, not so much with a Kindle, but a notebook full of notes is great too.
I usually read dedications and author’s notes. But sometimes they go too far. In one of my books it was enough that I put a note in my review. The lady had written 3 full pages like a love letter to her son and this was not the place for it (and it was downright creepy too).