Wednesday Wonderings: To read, or not to read?

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Wednesday Wonderings: A chance for me to muse about anything and everything literature.

When I was younger I used to look at the title and cover of the book to determine whether or not it was a good read. I was also restricted to the options at my local public library because buying books was a birthday/Christmas/special occasion thing. The internet was just beginning to rise in my childhood, so reading reviews online and trying to connect in a reading community didn’t happen for me until fairly recently. My techniques to finding the perfect book would rely primarily on the following:

  • What my friends recommended
  • Perusing back/inside-cover teasers
  • Judging on visual appeal of the novel (*gasp*)
  • Availability of the book (could I borrow it from a friend or library)
  • Posters in the library/’New Books’ shelf

Nonetheless, now I have no restrictions at all. I can easily look up a review on just about any book on-line and get hundreds of people’s synopsis, readings or ramblings about the novel. It’s a lot easier to be instantly updated on new arrivals and past treasures. Trouble is now a person can get overexposed to a novel. Accidentally reading spoilers is prominent on my phobia list. They can jump out of anywhere.

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The fear of spoilers

Not all books by any means, but there are books out there that rely on the reader not knowing an important aspect of it for them to be enjoyable. For example **SPOILER ALERT** for me the greatness of Never Let Me Go by Kazua Ishiguro was NOT knowing that the children at the school were clones until a ways past the middle. Had I actually known what it was about it would not have sound appealing to me and I probably would have never read it. Yet, if I was writing a proper review on the book it would be very difficult for me not to mention that huge part, making me a criminal in my mind.

I am a book criminal.

I am a book criminal.

It’s tempting to research the book a little in order to see if it would be appealing. Yet frequently it’s the element of surprise that can make a book so amazing. It’s that “WOW!” factor that makes a book 5/5 . That’s difficult to get if you know what the book is about. I will never forget how in HP#5 a stupid kid at my school yelled out in the school hallway that Sirius was going to die.

Complete and utter rage.

Complete and utter rage.

Basically, The Order of the Pheonix would never make my top five. I’ve actually come to fear spoilers as you may have noticed, so I try and go in as blind as possible.

Do you research books that you are interested in or do you go in blind?

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9 thoughts on “Wednesday Wonderings: To read, or not to read?

  1. Yes to going in blind! It has it’s disadvantages when you read a real stinker though. A good balance between a complete run-down and knowing nothing is probably a non-descriptive recommendation though. Usually my favourite books are the sort with a twist/something you don’t want to know in advance – then you have to persuade someone to read it without giving it all away though!

    • Eeeeekk so nice to hear someone that does the same thing! I need that surprise, it makes such a different. In terms of research sometimes I always want to try to explore the author more after I have enjoyed their book.

  2. What a great question! I would say I go in half-blind. I have a bad habit of just skimming book descriptions, get fixed on some key words, then go ahead and order the book. There have been a few times I’ve started reading a book and it’s completely different from what I originally thought.

    • Yes I suppose that is the drawback…there were books I have read (or at least tried to read) that were just awful, but since I did not research it enough I had no way of knowing. They normally have welcoming covers and promising back summary but then never live up to my expectations. Then again sometimes I have read positive reviews and read the book and disliked it. There is no way to avoid possible read failures 😦

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