Thursday, January 14, 2010

Charleston, Charleston...

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Suggested by Prairie Progressive: Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?

Am I a flapper, you ask? Sure. I'll read a hard cover's book jacket or a paperback's rear cover (or the quotes and blurb on the book's on-line page) as one criteria if I'm considering whether to buy it in the store or borrow it from the library. If it is giving away too much of the plot I will skim over it lightly, just looking to see if my appetite is whetted by theme, setting, a description of the writing, or anything else. If it is peppered with obviously over-the-top hyperbole I will usually put it down. I'll also read reviews and blog posts and I love it when bookstores have employees who read and who post their own recommendations. I will also dip into the book for a page or two - usually the opening and one other page - and see if the quality and tone of the writing are what I'm in the mood for. Books are very much a thing of the moment for me. I have to be taken by the right book at the right phase of the moon, or something. Some days I want Buddenbrooks and some days I want Harry Potter and I'm not beneath flapping to figure out if a volume has my name on it. I will break into a Charleston if I have to. I also have such a, er, generous TBR pile, that I will often read the book jacket a second time, along with several pages, when I am deciding what to read next. Then when I settle down to read a book, I will read everything. The the title page, the copyright page, the dedication, the acknowledgments, and will often skim the book jacket again, just to increase the anticipation as I begin!

4 comments:

DanaB said...

LOL so well said!!
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Nise' said...

I love it when my local bookstore does a display of employee favorites. They also have little cards of recommendations throughout the store.

Jennifer said...

Our answers differ. Mine: http://www.rundpinne.com/2010/01/booking-through-thursday-14-january.html

C.B. James said...

I do read the flaps and the back of the books. The comments and blurbs almost never affect me. Too many authors simply trade blurbs. I do like a recommendation from a real person though...