Since this blog started, I’ve only done two discussion posts. Since then, the majority of my posts have been memes, tags, and reviews, so I’m really going to try and do some more discussions. It may be over ambitious, but let’s say at least one a week, if not one every other week.
For me, there’s two types of reading/picking the book you read. One is when you know what you’re in for, when you’ve read some reviews, Goodreads synopsis, etc. and the other is reading blind (note: I’m not sure if reading blind is the ‘official’ term for this, but oh well 🙂 ).
As you can see from the title, this week’s discussion post is going to be on reading blind. Okay, this isn’t Braille or anything – although I did learn a few words in Braille when I was younger, but I doubt I can remember them. Reading blind is basically starting a book without knowing what it’s going to be about. Sometimes, I like to just read the blurb of the book – sometimes not even that. Reading blind is when you keep your knowledge of the book as little as possible, because then even the smallest little detail surprises you. It makes the plot much more exciting, the character’s that little bit more ~enhanced~ because almost everything is told through the book, with nothing being given away from a blurb/review. Of course, you will know small details, such as the genre, but that’s about it.
Reading blind is often fine if the book is super popular. Take, for example, Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn. I haven’t read this book yet, although I would like to get to it asap, however I know a considerable amount of detail on the book, taking into account that I haven’t actually read its synopsis, and only skimmed through a couple of reviews.
With over-hyped books, reading blind is fine – because you feel slightly more ‘safe’ in the sense that you know that it’s much more likely that the book will actually be a good book, with an interesting plot and well developed characters. I mean, they must be recieving all this hype for a reason!
However, when you take a look at under hyped books, reading blind isn’t always the best option. These are books that not many people have read, not many people talk about, so of course, you really won’t know what you’re in for, and whether what you’re going to read will be good or not. I often use my local library, and in the physical ‘library’ library (as we have an online version as well), the majority of the books in the YA section are usually super under-hyped books written by authors I have never heard of, and titles which I don’t know about. This is why I usually use the website, so I can get the books I want, but sometimes when I feel like trying something new and different, I like to pick a random under-hyped book.
One of the books that sticks out the most to me, in my memory, is the book The New Girl, which I read without looking at the blurb. I tried to search for the book on Goodreads but couldn’t find the author as there were many books named The New Girl, but from my memory I think it was something like S.L Grey? I really enjoyed that book. I remember it so well, and I remember recommending it to my friend, a friend who is kinds a YA hater, and she actually seemed interested. Only later, say, 4-5 months later, did I realise that The New Girl was actually the third and final book in a trilogy. And it was strange to think that although this was the final book, it still made sense.
The New Girl is a perfect example of both an upside and a downside of reading blind. I found a good book and a new author, I enjoyed it, I was surprised and the most minor details in the blurb didn’t spoil the most minor details in the book. But, however, it was the third in the series. And naturally you’d want to read the first two books as well, but then such an under hyped book means A) it’s hard to find and B) I didn’t know who wrote it.
So that wasn’t really a very major downside, so away from The New Girl, here’s some other downsides on reading blind, quickly summarised. Sometimes, going straight into the book without knowing what to expect can make your reading experience LESS enjoyable. You want to know what is coming, you want to look forward to it, and sometimes that motivates you to read more and read quicker. I knew Carry On would be about Snowbaz, as although the blurb didn’t give away much, I’d read Fangirl. And that’s why, despite Baz’s arrival being pretty far into the book, and the actual canon-ness happening 61 chapters in, I still sped through the book in like 1 hour. BECAUSE MY SOUL LIVES ON SNOWBAZ. SNOWBAZ EQUALS OTP GOALS. Sorry. Off topic.
Another reason why reading blind isn’t great is that maybe the vague idea you had of the book was wrong. You may have assumed, based on your skim through the blurb, that the book was going to be say, a fantasy dystopia. However on reading, it may have in fact turned out to be a sci-fi, a genre that you aren’t particularly interested in.
One con for NOT reading blind is, of course, that you may get spoiled. This isn’t likely, as most of the time reviews often have warnings on them, but everyone has different opinions on what counts as a spoiler and what doesn’t. Someone may think a small detail, which isn’t really the ‘ending’ of the book, isn’t a spoiler, whereas another person may think that it’s better for the surprise to be told during the story, even if it’s not technically part of the plot (I’m talking about *cough* mini-spoiler *cough* Solangelo here….).
So what do you think on reading blind? Do you do it often, or do you prefer to have a good idea of the book beforehand? Tell me what you think in the comments!