Whenever I buy a book I almost purely base my opinion of the book on the cover and on reviews. If I never heard of the book before I usually check on goodreads how it is rated. I do read the blurb on the back cover, but only in a skimming way. And after buying the book I don’t read it ever again (usually). I just don’t like sysopsis and here is why.
- Reveal something about the plot that ruins the book for you. I have read books for which I read the blurb and it sort of indicated that the main character was going to fall in love with idk the bad guy or something. So I normally would be spending half the time hating the bad guy and then realizing he isn’t that bad and be okay with them being together. But what happens if I know in advance is that half the book, is I hate both the bad guy and the main character, because how can she fall in love with that idiot?! Even if she hasn’t fallen in love yet!
- Make the book sound way less intriguing. I love teasers, they intrigue me and I want to know what will happen. But when the entire story is already told before reading the book, how can anything surprise me anymore?
- Are vague. Like: stuff happens and characters are introduced but after reading it you are more confused about what the book is about then before you started reading the blurb. An example is The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs, after reading the blurb I still had no clue what it was about.
- All sound the same. I know themes like love and growing up are quite common in YA fiction, but if the book blurb only vaguely says something about these themes, how am I supposed to know what makes this book different from the other ones?
- They flatten the entire story. A book can be majestic and have hugely complex characters, but in a blurb this doesn’t really come across.
If I already have a sense of what the book is about and I know I bought it because I thought it would be a good book, I try to avoid reading the blurb before reading the book. Also, to be honest I don’t really know what makes a good book to me. A book can sound amazing, but can disappoint, and books that doesn’t sound like the type of thing I normally go for, can be amazing! I love being surprised by a book, and blurbs and synopsis ruin that effect a little.
Of course I know the importance of a good blurb, because people are not all like me. Just because I don’t usually read synopsis, doesn’t mean that other people don’t think it is important. Some things that I think are important in a blurb are that they provide an introduction to the story, not the story itself, that they leave you feeling intrigued and wanting to know what will happen next, and that they provide you the most important themes and characters.
What do you base your book buying on? Do you always read blurbs? What are the most important aspects of a blurb to you?