Why Read Thriller Books? Eight Reasons You Should Pick Up Heart-Pounding Fiction

There was a long time from about age 18 to 29 where I completely forget that thriller books existed in my world. The whole book sphere became all about romance and YA…or endless hours of reality TV.

Yes, there is shame. Only for the years that I completely forgot my favorite genre. How? Why? I had forsaken the core heart of my being.

Anyway. Never going to do that again.

Here are eight beautiful reasons why you shouldn’t make my mistakes. Save yourselves and keep reading thrillers, suspense, and mystery books or miss these benefits:

Mental Yoga

Who doesn’t love a puzzle? Each book from one of these genres pushes the genre in how much adrenaline and who-dun-it that your brain can handle–until it’s 3 AM and you still have to work tomorrow, but you can’t stop flipping pages. You absolutely have to know if your prediction on page 112 was right.

These books can’t make you think harder and become more invested in the advanced plot twists than a typical literary novel. Here, we are focused. We are dialed in at all times. Because there are stakes, and baby, they are big. And we want to know if we were right. So we go along for the ride and we try to figure it out, or become obsessed with the path a book is leading us down…deeper into darkness.

A Stress Workout

When I’m stressed, I don’t reach for a romance. Go figure, right? I reach for a good ol’ bodies hitting the floor, world on the line, obsession and someone’s got to pay for their crimes book. Why? Because it’s a way for me to exorcise my stress with someone else’s words.

All of those negative feelings? I throw ’em at the baddie. All those questions of who in the world could do such a thing, I relate it to my crappy day. So when the end of the book comes and things are resolved or the plot has wound down and evil bitches are behind bars?

All of my negativity and stress are happily absent, because, tomorrow’s another day. And I finished a super distracting book that I could throw all of my feelings into so they weren’t at the top of my mind anymore.

To Find Hope

It’s scientifically shown that people can’t live without the idea of some kind of hope, in the littlest or biggest things in life.

By picking up a thriller or a mystery, you know the good guys are going to win at the end. Good will triumph over evil, hope will be restored, and the world will keep turning until you pick up the next serial killer novel and he strikes again.

But for those blessed few pages, you remind yourself that there are people out there working to do good things. There can be justice and a sense of fairness to the world, if we look for it. In books, absolutely, there’s always a glimmer of hope.

Good Triumphs Over Evil

See: Re my post before this one, “hope”. Same gist. Same good vibes. All needed feelings after a long day at work or a day taking care of a screaming toddler.

To Put Your Own Life Into Focus

Is a serial killer chasing you through the forest?

Has Joe Goldburg started stalking you?

Is the FBI about to raid your house for tax fraud?

No? Great! Things could be way worse and thrillers, suspense, and mysteries throw that into wide relief.

You could be stuck in a cozy mystery and find a dead body every other week.

Make Your Life Less Boring

Sometimes the grind of every day life, especially on the special scale that we’re at right now in the world, can seem extra harsh. Boring. Dull. Excluding a lot of the things we used to count on for sources of entertainment.

So here comes a heart-poundingly, WTF-is-going-to-happen-now book that for at least a day is going to captivate you and bring you into a world that is far less boring than our current reality. Find a new book, escape to a society where the a kid has been kidnapped and only one person can bring the kidnapper to justice.

Bam, you’re not bored anymore, are you?

To Be Scared

This one seems pretty obvious to me. I like my books with a side of the oogy-boogie. That creepy crawling feeling you can’t shake for days. As if something is over your shoulder or crawling up your spine?

Scary, delicious, adrenaline rush crack, I tell you. If you want to be freaked out for a little while, this is your genre.

Nay, this is your CALLING.

As a Psychological Study

Frankly, sometimes I just read in this genre to get is psycho’s heads. Or to get into a person’s head, an ordinary person, who makes out of character choices, because I’m a really curious person and I want to know why they did what they did in the first place.

Why did that woman stalk a married man and try to kill his wife? Why did those teenage girls get trapped in an evil sex cult? Why was that woman compulsively killing guys?

All great psychological questions that I get the pleasure of dissecting whenever I pick up a mystery or thriller or suspense book. It’s not enough that the act itself is happening, that the plot is making me turn pages like a crazy person on six cups of coffee–the fun part is living for the “why”.

The pursuit of the “why” keeps me re-reading books. It keeps me immersed in worlds that I might have DNF’ed, and it’s a fun little mind game between author and reader. A psychological exchange from mind to mind.

So, there are the reasons you should keep reading or dip your toe into these magnificent genres, but, you will be hooked.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you….

Keep Reading Book Fam,


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