Going Into Books Blind


When it comes to books, I'll be the first to admit a striking cover, a familiar author, or even an interesting title, is enough to win me over. And sometimes, when it comes to the excitement of beginning yet another book, the blurb serves at entirely futile.

For me, one of the greatest elements of reading is the unpredictability and the uncertainty of a tale – the untold secrets and the unknown (yet often welcomed) characters. When I began Vicious by V.E. Schwab, I didn't know any of the cast – I didn't even know the plot. And yet, funnily enough, this made the experience all the more intriguing – I had virtually no clue where the tale was going, or what the 'big' unresolved problem would be. And that was refreshing.

To read is to delve into the unknown – to put faith in the intrigue of another's mind. And sometime's it's best to embrace this, and to go into a book completely blind.

I've yet to read THE MOVING TOYSHOp by Edmund Crispin or THE FRANCHISE AFFAIr by Josephine Tey, but I'm glad I know very little about them. The prospect of going into a book so open and vulnerable towards surprise fills me with uncontainable bliss.

Perhaps the next time you pull a forgotten novel from the back of your shelves,  avoid the blurb, and leave yourself susceptible to the shock of unnamed territory and undefined mysteries.

Do you enjoy going into books without knowing what they're really about?
Books Photographed Above: The Moving Toyshop, Vicious, Lady Audley's Secret, The Franchise Affair, The Time Traveller's Wife, The Miniaturist.

24 comments:

  1. I've discovered I enjoy a book more if I've read the blurb - or if I have at least SOME idea what the story is about. When I go in without knowing anything I mostly feel confused and annoyed that I have no idea what is going on.

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    1. Ooh that's interesting haha. I guess I'm sometimes like that – with contemporary books where not much happens anyway. :)

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  2. I almost always go into a book blind. I might have heard of it, might have heard amazing things about it, but I love the feeling of going into a book knowing nothing about it!

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  3. I'm the complete opposite! Reading the blurb gets me excited for a book that's been sitting on my shelf for a while. If I go into a book without knowing anything I'll spend the whole book confused and annoyed that I don't even have an inkling as to where the book will go. Most of the time though, I don't read anything other than the blurb unless I've read/watched a wrap up video and seen someone talk about it. In that sense I guess I do go into the book 'blind' but reading the blurb is always a must.

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    1. Haha that's interesting! And yep, I rarely read more than the blurb and maybe a review or two. :)

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  4. I actually feel exactly like you, but somehow often manage to sabotage myself! Sigh...All of my absolute favourite books have been ones where I have gone in completely blind (which happened a lot more often when I was younger) - I'm simply more intrigued and love to slowly uncover the story.

    But somehow I can't stop myself from reading reviews and blurbs, and get excited, only to often be let down a bit because I already knew what was coming. Recently, reading "We Were Liars" was actually a very big disappointment for me simply because I knew there was going to some twist, so I spent the whole book looking for clues, and never appreciated what was probably a better book than I ended up thinking.

    So, I completely agree with you and adore books that hold completely unknown adventures! :)

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    1. Aw that sucks haha! And yep, I totally get the "I'm simply more intrigued and love to slowly uncover the story."

      I didn't know about the "twist" in We Were Liars, and if I had, I honestly would have been very disappointed. So I can definitely see how that would have been frustrating for you!

      Unknown adventures are simply the best adventures. ;D

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  5. This is why I DO NOT read the summary 95% of the time. I love diving into books blind so that I'm left guessing. Sometimes, the blurbs includes spoilers that might not be a spoiler for other people, but for me, I'm sensitive to spoilers. Like, it might not be a big thing for other people, but for me, a part of the story is already ruined since it is mentioned in the summary.

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    1. I'm the same! A spoiler is a spoiler – I don't care how small! :)

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  6. I really love going into books without knowing very much too. The unknown is a good thing when it comes to reading I think :)

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    1. Definitely, plus it puts you more in the character's shoes (if that makes sense)

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  7. I've begun to really love going in to books knowing relatively nothing. Not even having read many reviews on them. I have no expectations and the book isn't tainted in anyway. Ah, it's bliss.

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    1. I definitely know what you mean. :) I love reading reviews, but sometimes it can be really difficult to enjoy a book when all you've heard about it is negativity. :)

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  8. I love to do that! Occasionally I'll not let myself read the blurb and just dive into a book, when I'm being too indecisive about what to read next. The last book I went into 'blind' was The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan :)

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  9. For me it's actually differs from book to book, some I enjoy going in blind but some I like to have an inkling of what's to come.

    One of the books that pleasantly surprised when I went in blind was Canary by Rachele Alpine and another was Markus Zusak's I am the messenger.

    This reminds me of something else: A well written synopsis. I think a great synopsis would be one that sort of gives me a hint of what the book is about but at the same time it should vague enough that it leaves the reader intrigued and wanting more.

    Great post, Ruby! :)

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  10. Aw yaaas, I can totally relate! I've also come across books that have the WORST spoilers in the blurb - you literally have to read 200 pages in to read about the big spoiler that it mentions. So irritating.

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

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  11. I always read the blurb when deciding whetehr to read a book, but not always before reading. I do have a good memory so I usualy remember at least a few things about the book. I would love to go inot a book blind, but then how do I decide what to read? I mostly rely on blurbs when deciding what to read or whether to accept a review request.

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  12. I will always read the blurb, but the cover is often a big factor in making me pick the book up. That, the title, whether I like the author, or if I can tell it's one of my favourite genres just from appearance :)

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  13. I LOVE not reading the blurb and going in blind but usually I can't help it. There are a few genres I really don't like so I'd hate to accidentally start a historical novel or paranormal romance! I like to just pick up whatever looks good from the cover and hope for the best!

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  14. I definitely think going into a book blind is the best way :D I usually read the synopsis, but then after some time I have forgotten what it said (luckily), so I can still go into it somewhat blind. Except if I know of the author, then I won't read the synopsis :)

    Cucie @ Cucie reads

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  15. I've recently realised that the less I hear about books, the more I enjoy them. Even one five-star review can set me up with a huge sense of hope for the novel, and my expectations are rarely met. I think that discovering the world, the characters and all of the little details for myself is best...most of my favourites are those I've gone into 'blind'.

    Brilliant post, once again!

    -Sophie :)

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  16. I always read the blurb before I buy a book/request it, but my TBR pile is up to the point that by the time I actually get round to reading it, I've forgotten the blurb... So generally, I do go into books blind! I tend to then go back and read the blurb if the book isn't picking up but otherwise, I love the suspense! :)

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  17. I always read the blurb, but going in blind seems like an interesting challenge!

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