Books. They’ve been constrained into being judged in mere seconds. Whole novels, 1000 pages and more, are summed up with a dot of an i and a quick stroke of a pen. The beauty, the excitement, the suspense is all left to hang dry. Yet these binding summaries are completely necessary for a thriving story. Otherwise, how would anyone know what they’re getting into? Nobody would blindly plunge into a massive ocean of words without first a boat and compass to guide their way. And for books, that boat is their book blurbs.
Authors are forced and pressured to create the perfect blurb. It has to capture the essence of the book, without giving anything away. It has to grab the reader’s attention, without being too long. The blurb must bottle up pages upon pages and neatly display that information on the back cover.
And how can a book be described by just that? It does it no justice! It plants a seed of how the book should be to the readers, and it sets everything up to fail. The blurbs are both a blessing and a curse to these books.
For these reasons, for the constrictions, the pressure, and the un-justness, I refuse to read the blurbs.
Alright, alright, that was a bit dramatic. I don’t refuse to read them. Nor do I feel strongly of their unfair ruling of the book. Honestly? I’m just lazy. I pick up a book, and I get cracking. I don’t have time waste 30 seconds of my life on a summary. Why read the summary when I can just read the whole thing, right?
I know, I know. It’s crazy. But if you think about it, usually I know what books I want to read and their general plot. So… I skip past it.
This goes along with my I judge a book by its cover thing. Let’s face it: the cover is the only thing I go off of considering I don’t read the summaries. There are definitely high stakes for a good cover, and there are probably a gold mine of fabulous books hiding behind the shells of ugly covers.
There’s a lot of books in the world. We all know that. And since I see so many books just around the blogging community, I weed out which books I want to read. I have my obligatory review books, books sent to me, popular books, and books I just plain want to read. Somehow, someway, the general plots to these books find their way into my brain. I really don’t even know how. And sometimes they don’t, and I blindly go into a novel with high hopes and a false impression.
For instance, Dorothy Must Die. The cover is absolutely stunning, and I knew it was a Wizard of Oz retelling (duh), one where Dorothy was evil (obviously), and must die (the title says it all). I didn’t do much more work than that. I glanced over a couple reviews to see their ratings and knew I had to own it. Once I did and started reading, I realized the writing style and setup was completely different than I thought. I went back and read the blurb halfway through, and I would have known all those things and wouldn’t have been surprised if I had read it to begin with. (But in all fairness to me, there is a little bit of a false advertisement about that plot. Check out my review for more info.)
So I tend to read the summaries while I’m reading the book, which doesn’t do me any good. Oh well.
Even when I do read the blurbs, I don’t actually read it. I skim. I read the first couple sentences, get bored, and skim the rest. It’s weird that I have such a short attention span for that, yet I can read the whole novel cover to cover without once getting bored or wanting to move onto another book. Funny how that works out.
Do you guys read the book blurbs, or am I the only one who tends to skip it?