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On Flaps and Blurbs

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This week’s question: Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?

Jacket flaps, blurbs, and reviews from media alike, I read them to the point that they reveal too much about the story lest my pleasure is spoiled. I noticed jacket flaps on hardbacks usually carry more than ample information for me to peruse the book itself and so I would just skip. The back flaps, however, provide a bit more information on authors that paperback editions usually lack. NYRB Classics Series, on the other hand, skimps out all the blurbs on the back cover. What annoys me the most are the equivocal, vague, fluffy praises that are in quotations, miserably stripped down and punctured by “…” They are prime examples of saying nothing in 100 words.

9 Responses

  1. Interesting answer!

  2. I love the author information on the back, but the front often spoils the hell out of the plot. I don’t like that. Don’t they know the rules???

  3. I read the flaps too… although not the quotes of praise. My post is here.

  4. I browse the flaps and the back very quickly and if it catches my attention I will then investigate the book more!

  5. I will usually skip the introduction page, and read it only after I read the book. 😉

  6. I avoid flaps as much as possible. I know they are supposed to draw you in to the book but either they are so misleading that I get upset because the book isn’t what I expected or else something big is spoiled for me.

  7. I love reading the flaps. It drives me crazy when they don’t say anything about the plot, or are all misleading.

  8. I read flaps when I’m browsing and before I start the book, to get situated. I skip blurbs and praise because it’s all the same but I appreciate a good plot summary.

  9. I was reading earlier this week in John Sutherland’s How to Read a Novel that they are often written by the author. I can’t quite believe that. I often find my self nearing the end of the book and looking back to the flaps wondering what book they were reading. Has anyone else read a book and thought that the synopsis seemed like it was vaguely describing the book but was very misleading?

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