Sunday, October 4, 2009

What came first? (identifying with characters)

There are different reasons people like books.  Some read for plot, some for characters they like or identify with.  I was reading a book recently, and I found myself playing the "if I were asked why I like this book, what would I say" game.  It's more like the "how I would justify liking this book if someone asked me" game.  I've been playing this game for years, but I've started wondering about it recently.

I start out liking the book.  If someone asks why, I have to give them something they'll understand, so I usually talk about characters.  It's almost like acting, where there's that school of thought that says to play a character, you have to identify something in you with something in the character first.

It could be completely true that there is something about a character that I really identify with, but that's not necessarily what makes me like a book or keep reading it.  Now I'm wondering what came first: liking the book or identifying with the character?

What makes you like books usually?  Plot?  Character?  Something else?

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