by Tamela Hancock Murray
As I believe I’ve mentioned on this blog, along with Christian books, I try to keep abreast of general market books. But I admit, I don’t always finish reading the books I begin reading. So what makes me stick with a book from cover to cover? Here’s just one example for nonfiction:
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
Why did I stay with this book while abandoning other books that may have been just as worthwhile or perhaps even better? Here’s why:
1.) I had read an article in The Washington Post that had already garnered my interest and called my attention to the book’s existence in detail.
2.) The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. stands to gain a share of Huguette’s estate. This gallery is located just a few miles from me, and my uncle Eldridge Bagley, a professional artist, once was a guest speaker at this gallery. I witnessed him discussing his paintings in front of an audience gathered just for the occasion.
3.) I was intrigued by Huguette, wondering why she had become a recluse living in a hospital when she owned several homes staffed by servants and caretakers. Apparently the taxes alone on one property were $161,000 per year.
4.) The book opened with a captivating mystery and the writers were skilled enough to keep me wanting to keep learning more.
5.) The book lived up to the promise of its rather long and detailed title.
6.) I am interested in the time period during which the family lived.
7.) The book offers a look into a lifestyle of unlimited wealth that I will otherwise probably will never see.
8.) Huguette proved to be an interesting person, albeit hard to understand. But by the end of the book, I felt I understood her and why she made the decisions she did, even though I believe I would have made many different decisions if given the same situations.
9.) And finally, because of the insights offered, I felt that reading the book was a good use of my leisure time.
What is the main reason you stay with a book?
Do you enjoy fiction or nonfiction more?