Location, though understated, is often key to a great novel. And I’m not exactly talking city-wise (though for me personally, bonus points to writers who write about Chicago!). I’m being a bit more general. For instance, do you prefer the city or the country? Farm or ranch? Beach or cabin in the woods? Each and every location will usually make you think of something, whether good or bad. Here are a few locations I enjoy reading about:
1. City: I live in a city. I know what it takes to live in a city (trains, long commutes, weather problems). I can usually relate to a character who lives in a city.
2. Beach: There aren’t too many books that take place where there is a beach (though I can think of a few). But I know the beach. I’ve been to the beach. I love the beach.
3. Farms: Mostly because historical novels have farms and I love me some history.
4. American South: but only if they address actual social problems.
5. Made up worlds: I love, love, love fantasy. I particularly love fantasy novels that have rules and regulations of their own. There’s nothing more strange to me than when an author creates a new world that feels like Earth.
6. College towns: because I went to college, I know what that’s about.
Locations I do not enjoy reading about:
1. Ranches: Sorry. Inevitably, horses come up. I like horses. Occasionally I will go horseback riding. But I don’t understand the love between a person and a horse. And while I don’t mind a cowboy film or two, as heroes, they generally don’t have much of an appeal to me… (there are, of course, exceptions to this rule).
2. Cabins in the woods: hunting? camping? Uh uh no ma’am. All I can think about are bugs.
3. American South: when they don’t address social problems.
4. Made up worlds: Sometimes fantasy novels can have too many rules and strange things and I’m just lost.
5. Small towns: Ok, to be perfectly honest, I do like small towns, but there are quite a few books that have me shaking my head thinking I don’t get you!
6. Amish. That is all.
And so, after compiling my list, the biggest reason why I enjoy certain locations is because I can relate to them. I know them. They are familiar to me. What about you? What locations do you enjoy? Or don’t enjoy?