Readerly Confession: the part of the book I don’t read

If you follow me on Instagram you no doubt already know that books have basically taken over my life.

Books and the cat. And coffee. And ridiculous selfies.

But mostly books.

My entire literate life has been spent with a nose stuck in a book. I listen to them when I drive, read them while I’m cooking (which is a little risky), and always have one tucked away in my purse just in case.

But there’s one thing that might shock you about my reading habits. In fact, my editor (the lovely Kelsey) was aghast when she found out.

Ready?

Are you sitting down?

I don’t read the back of the book (or the description blurb on Amazon) when I buy/check out/start to read a book.

That’s right. I like to go into a book completely blind.

So, how do I know that it’s a book I’ll want to read? I just do! I take the recommendations of trusted friends, authors I admire, and yes I go by cover design (don’t judge me!).

I’m an adventurous reader with eclectic taste, so not knowing the basic premise of a book is usually no problem.

But sometimes it is.

Like last week when I accidentally read two post-apocalyptic novels that were about the few who survived a horrible flu outbreak at the same time (Station Eleven and The Star Dogs). Or when I thought a friend had spoiled a plot for me via Instagram on a book I’d just started (How the Light Gets In) when the “spoil” was already in the back cover blurb (whoops and whew).

Generally, though, it results in me reading a bunch of books I might not have otherwise.

How about you? Do you read the back covers of books? Or do you go in without knowing anything about the plot like I do? What’s your system of picking out a book to read?

I love to hear from YOU! And happy reading!

9 Comments on “Readerly Confession: the part of the book I don’t read

  1. I generally at LEAST skim the back cover copy. The part of the book I tend to skip, unless I feel like it’s going to be really interesting, is the foreword. Sometimes even the introduction, if it’s too long. (Blush.)

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    • Well, I think that really long intros or forewords don’t add anything to the reading experience. This coming from a girl who has spent too much of her life reading boring forewords when the actual book said it better.

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  2. I read the back cover, but I probably shouldn’t. I go in expecting one thing and more times than not, what the story is about is NOT the blurb on the back.

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  3. I also never read the back cover! I just started a new release this morning by one of my favorite authors. All I knew about the book was that she wrote it. In the first few pages I was really surprised – in a good and intriguing way – by how the story was setting up. I love not knowing what is going to happen! Like the above commenter, it helps not to have expectations but to take the story as the author intended.

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  4. I do not go “shopping” for books, so in that regard I don’t peruse preface, Forward, flap or back. I opt for a book that intrigues me—author, subject, title, cover…. Ah, but once chosen to read, I start with the back.

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  5. Susie! This is fabulous news! I just finished writing the back cover blurb for my latest. I mean, I JUST finished it. I hated every minute of the process. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read–or buy!–a book due to my pathetic words. Maybe, just maybe, there are lots of readers out there like you who love to be surprised. Oh baby, I hope so! You’re my kind of reader, darlin’!

    I understand the contradiction of my words. I truly believe my book is worthy of being read. I just don’t like actually trying to convince people to do so.

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