Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where I discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
This week's hot topic:
Book synopses: Do you read them thoroughly? Do they convince you to read a book?
There are usually two things I do when browsing in a bookstore. Admire the covers, and then when I find one that looks appealing, pick up the book and skim the synopsis.
A book synopsis is a tricky little thing when you stop and think about it. A good synopsis will reel you in with its tantalizing hints and promises of what's to come, but it has to walk a fine line. A great book synopsis will give you a brief overview, while snagging your attention. It can't be too long, or too short, nor can it commit the ultimate sin, in my mind, by giving away major plot details.
A great synopsis will convince me to read a book, and it usually draws me in with some exciting tidbit of information that leaves me wanting to know more.
I do read book synopses, but I find more often than not, I am skimming, especially if they get to be too lengthy. I have a short attention span when it comes to selecting books in a store or library, and I know I am not alone. It shouldn't take more than a minute or so to read a synopsis. If it goes beyond that, you are going to lose the reader's attention.
Worse, is when a synopsis is loaded up with all kinds of quotes and praise from readers and reviewers. I rarely read those because I don't want them to bias me when I read the book.
Tantalizing, succinct and smart are three words that come to mind when it comes to a good synopsis.
Once I have selected my read, it is usually awhile before I get around to reading the book, thanks to a busy blogging schedule. When I go into the book, I do not reread the synopsis as I like to be surprised. I have had the experience where too much information is given away in the synopsis and the reader is aware of some of the big developments before even starting, which ruins the book and takes away from the surprise. I can't stand synopses that tell me everything.
So to answer my question, yes I do read synopses, and a well written one will snare my attention and make me want to read a book. However, when I do read the book, I don't reread the synopsis so I can experience the book as blindly as possible.
A good synopsis, along with an eye catching cover, can make or a break a book.
What about you all. Do you set a lot of store in synopses? Do you read them thoroughly before selecting a book?
Next week's TMST, A So You Want To Be a Blogger Edition:
What blogging mistakes are you going to try and not repeat?