Welcome back to Tuesday Talks, a weekly discussion based on the GoodReads group of the same name, where each week we talk about a different book-ish topic and share our thoughts. Please, feel free to check out the group on GoodReads and maybe even join in on the current and future discussions.
How do you feel about comparative blurbs on book covers?
A lot of books have these things called “comparative blurbs” on book covers. You know, where there are the little snippets about how good the book is, and how it compares to other bestsellers that are similar in nature. Or, it could be a positive comment from the author of another bestseller. Take a look at the books around your house, the books on your bookshelf, almost any book. Is there something there that makes you want to immediately pick it up and dive into its story? That’s the point of these comparative blurbs.
Sometimes I feel like they do help the book sell, especially for those who buy and read books based on the positive reviews. When you don’t have time to read full-fledged, in-depth reviews about books that you are serious about buying, it helps to have a little taste of what other people think about the book. But I do also think that sometimes it isn’t really unbiased, especially since these blurbs come from other authors or compare the book to other popular works. Of course the blurbs on the covers are going to be positive in order to get people to read and buy the books. In order to really get an idea of how the book really is, it’s important to read both types of reviews.
But then again, that can also have a negative effect on your thoughts because then you have preconceived notions on how the book will be based on the reviews you have read. Unless you read the book without paying attention to any reviews before hand, then you will be swayed to either like or dislike the book without even having to open to the first page.
So what do I think about comparative blurbs on the covers? I guess I would say that they have their pros and cons, and they really are interesting for me to read before hand. It’s also nice to have an idea of what the book is about without reading the synopsis in the back of the book, although I would rather read the synopsis than blurbs. I think that if books didn’t have blurbs, I would wonder what people would think about it, which would make me want to look up reviews on GoodReads (it’s a wonderful place to read reviews), which will determine whether or not I do end up reading a book or not.
So… I guess yes on blurbs. But not always. Sorry my answer was so long winded.