Lola’s Ramblings: How I experience settings in books part two

Posted April 30, 2015 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings / 12 Comments


Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.

Last week I already talked about how I experience settings in books, but as there were so many settings I wanted to address today is part two. When I am reading a book I sorta see the events as a movie in my head, but I also feel like I am at that place. So the setting can influence how I feel when I read a book, settings that I love in real life are often settings I like in books as well and things that make me scared in real life like heights often make me uncomfortable when reading as well. Below I mention some settings and how I feel about them in real life, how they influence my reading experience and mention a book I read that features that setting.

Settings in books

  • Legacy CodeSpace/ spaceships. One of the reason why I never used to read sci-fi is that the whole concept of space freaks me out, a lot. If we ever had to go into space I am not sure how I would deal with it. Lately I’ve been reading more and more sci-fi books and I find I can deal with the setting better than expected. Especially after watching Star Trek Voyager and Star Wars I have gotten a new appreciation for space and can see the beauty in it as well. In Star Trek Voyager you often have scenes were you see the expanse of space through the windows, I can kinda see the beauty in it. Although there are also books which embodies the thing about space that frightens me. It just depends on the book and how the setting is employed, but I certainly love the genre nowadays and I love the possibilities of other planets and space travel it offers.
    A book I read with this setting: The Legacy Code series by Autumn Kalquist. Humanity is almost captured in space here, they have their fleet, but they have no planet to call their home and they continually live in the ships. Her descriptions of space and how those people live there make it sounds like a dark and unforgiving place and it really adds to the dark and dangerous feel of the book.
  • Hotel/ restaurant. There is something I love about hotel and restaurant settings in books. Maybe it’s because of the assocation with vacation? I like hotels in real life as well as I always find it fun to stay somewhere else and I always like discovering the hotel room when we just got there. When a book features a hotel or restaurant I always think it makes for a fun setting.
    A book I read with this setting: Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris. There is a lot of focus on the food aspect and beside that the restaurant played an important role in this book and made for a fun background/ setting.
  • Beach/ water/ sea. I don’t really have anything with beaches in real life, although I like beign enar to water. As a kid I thought being too far inland felt a bit claustropobic as I am used to being close to water, here in the Netherlands you are never far from water. But water can also be scary, if you know that about half of netherlands is beneath the sea level, it’s scary to image what would happen if the dams break. But in general I think water is pretty and scary, but I don’t like being out on the water or see. I went on a boat a few times and get horrible seasick and seeing nothgin but water frightens me, but in books they can be fun settings.
    A book I read with this setting: Water and Strom Country by David Estes. This book takes place in a country next to the sea and also follows the point of view from someone on a ship.
  • A League of Her OwnSport Locations. With this I mean books that palce around a sports field, gym etc. I actually don’t sport and have a slight dislike for sports, I never was any good at sports and the only reason I even managed to succeed for the gym course in high school was that I showed I tried. I wouldn’t say I am clumsy, it’s more that I just don’t have a sports sense and when a ball goes my way I avoid it instead of catching it. I hate things hitting me and after getting a few balls slammed in my face as a kid I got this instinct to avoid balls. Which really doesn’t come in handy when trying to play a sport. So while in real life I don’t like sports I do find them interesting as book settings. As I don’t play sports I hardly know anything about it and I like reading about subjects I know not much about. So I actually don’t mind sports settings, although I haven’t read a lot of books with sports settings so far I am not opposed to reading more books with a sports setting.
    A book I read with this setting: A League of Her Own by Karen Rock. This oen takes mostly palce aroudn the baseball field and the surrounding city. While I didn’t knew anything of this sprot before reading this book I felt like I learned a lot about the sport just be reading this and I think the sport location made for an interesting setting.
  • Small Town setting. There is somethign I love about small town settings in books. Not sure what exactly, but they always feel more cozy and les sbusy then big towns and I like that. Also in real life I prefer smaller towns over big cities, I am not really a big city girl. Although I wouldn’t want to live in a town so small that everyone knows you.
    A book I read with this setting: Promises Under the Peach Tree (Heartache #1) by Joanne Rock. This series takes place in and around a fictional small town called Heartache. I loved the first two books in this series and this is one of theebst contemporary romances I’ve read. I liked how you really got to know all the side characters as well and the small town setting really added something to this book.
  • fire countryDesert. I’ve never been to a desert or really warm place in real life, so I can’t really say much about that, but I don’t like having it warm, so I don’t think I would like deserts. In books I am always a bit meh about them, they seem borign and warm an I don’t know I am just not a big fan of it. I don’t really mind desert settings too much in books, but they aren’t my favourite setting.
    A book I read with this setting: Fire Country by David Estes. I actually loved this book, even though desert settings aren’t my favourite, David Estes handled the setting in a way that was fun. And Perry the cactus.
  • Snowy places. When it comes to snow my motto is usually that I love seeing it, as long as I don’t have to go outside. Walking in the snow is harder than normal and I don’t even dare cycling when it’s snowy or iced. So yeah I mostly like watching snow and books provide the perfect way to enjoy the good things about snow whithout the bad parts, so snow settings are usually a win for me.
    A book I read with this setting: Silver Heart by Victoria Green. This was such a fun romance set around a ski resort.
  • Boarding school. There is something I love about boarding school settings in books, it just makes for a fun setting, practically living on school and being close to all the other students. I went to university, but here it’s pretty common to stay living at home and that’s what I did. I traveled to university each day I had classes and mostly studied at home as well, so I never got the boarding school experience in real life, but that’s what makes it even more fun to read about it.
    A book I read with this setting: Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Most of this series and the next one take place around boarding school and I just love this series and the setting.
  • Camp. Here in the netherlands camp isn’t that common and I never got to camp myself. As this is an experience I missed out on in real life I enjoy reading about, combined with my love for nature rich settings this is a win win for me. There is just something so fun about camp setting.
    A book I read with this setting: Camp Boyfriend series by JK Rock. This whole series takes place during summer camp in camp Juniper and I loved getting the camp experience through these books and it’s a great series.

How do settings in books influence your reading experience? Which settings in books do you like and which don’t? What’s your opinion about the settings I mentioned here? Anyone have a good recommendation for a sports romance?


12 responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: How I experience settings in books part two

  1. I enjoyed reading your take on these various settings. I’m personally familiar with all those settings with the exception of space. I’m comfortable with them and like reading stories in those settings. Okay, well I’m only comfortable with the desert at night or first thing in the morning since I don’t do well in heat. 😉

    As to space, depending on the focus of the story means whether I get chills or barely notice it. Something like Star Wars is so action packed that I barely notice space, but something like Apollo 13 when its a rescue effort in space has me seeing it as a menace.

    I lived in dorms for my college (university) experience and it can be fun with the right roomies. I had a bad experience my first year, but the rest of the years with different roommates was good and fun.

    Because of being familiar with many of these settings, I enjoy seeing it when an author gets it right. I loved the two David Estes books I read with his settings and I got to read the Karen Rock sports romance and found that spot on with baseball. But, like you, I also enjoy many settings in books that I wouldn’t enjoy in real life- jungle, city, historical periods.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…His Captive Princess by Sandra Jones #Review #AfternoonDelightMy Profile

    • I am glad you enjoyed these posts! It was fun to think about all the different settings I experienced in books and my thoughts of them. I probably still forgot to mention a lot of settings though. I don’t think I ever been at a desert and probably won’t do well in the heat either.

      I agree with space it really matters how it is handled whether it’s scary or fun. Like with Star Wars I love the space setting, but some space settings can be creepy as well.

      That’s nice you got better roommates in your secodn year, I guess which roommates you have can really influence the university experience.

      I agree it’s awesome when an author really get’s the setting right and pays attention to that. And davis Estes really handles the extreme settings well in his country series. And Karen Rock her book is one of the few sports romances I read and I really enjoyed it. Sometimes the familiarity is nice with settings, but experiencing settings in books that you don’t experience in real life is fun as well.

    • I am less of a beach person, but I lvoe camp settings. And indeed I would’ve guessed you like spaceship settings ;). Can you remember how hesistant I was to start the Nogiku series, makes me realize how much I’ve changed in my opinion of sci-fi books and aliens and space elements in books.

    • I haven’t read a lot of dessert books, but boarding school are a quite common setting, but there is just something fun about it. I don’t think I have read many if any books set on an island, I can see how it can be a fun setting.
      Lola recently posted…My To-Be Read List #9: pollMy Profile

  2. I really enjoy your thoughts in why you like these settings – for me a favorite is small towns. I think its partly because its like going home – I grew up in a village with a population just around 2000 and I miss that life. Space has never appealed to me, but like you, I can appreciate it’s beauty. I just really dont want to go there lol!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…My TBR List | May 2015 VotingMy Profile

    • There is something I like about small town settings, it’s so quiet and everyone knows each other, although that part can be bad sometimes as well. I’ve never lived in a small town myself, but I would like to. I do live in a quiet neighbourhood now, but it’s part of a city. That’s a good way to describe space, it can look nice, but I never would want to visit myself.
      Lola recently posted…My To-Be Read List #9: pollMy Profile

  3. Nice post, Lola. Yes, setting does affect our enjoyment of a book, doesn’t it? I’m glad you shared some reasons why you enjoy these particular settings. I like a variety of settings but my favorite, I think, are small towns. I may have said this before but I just love the community feeling of a small town, where everyone knows everyone else…where there’s always someone there for you when you’re in need. That’s comforting to me so I enjoy losing myself in stories like that. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ Alpha & Omega ~ Patricia BriggsMy Profile

    • I think settings really influence my enjoyment of a book, it depends on the exact setting how much, but setting definitely matter. I also love small town settings, like you said it’s so comforting and it’s fun feeling like you get to know all the characters as well.

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