Armchair BEA 2016: On Aesthetics

For a period of time back in the early 2000s (aka before the blog), I refused to read book jacket flaps or the back of the book because they always, always seemed to spoil a major plot point. I would go into a book thinking that the basic premise was whatever was written on the flap and then that thing that I thought would be part of the set up would happen three-fourths of the way through the book. Oh, it made me so angry.

So I stopped reading jacket flaps and plot synopses and started picking books based on the cover and title. So, a few of the books I encountered that way are:

covers

  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  • Jason and Kyra by Dana Davidson
  • Luxe by Anna Godbersen
  • Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba (part of the Royal Diaries series)
  • Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone
  • Slam! by Walter Dean Myers

I didn’t 100% love them all, but they all matched my expectations–even if A Great and Terrible Beauty was more fantasy than the cover let on.

Now that I think about it, though, I was more likely to give books and genres I wasn’t into more of a chance when I went by the cover and title alone. Lately, I have been reading jacket flaps (usually only the first paragraph–just enough to get an idea of the basic premise. Unfortunately, spoilers still abound if I read beyond that) and ruling out lots of books because they’re not what I feel like reading. However, the best way to discover if I feel like reading something is to just read it. A lot of my favorite reads have been outside of my preferred genre.

So. I guess I learned something about myself today.

As for blog aesthetics, I kept thinking that I needed a knockout layout. You know, something that really said ME. And if I had that layout, I would be more apt to update my blog. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

My point then is that I have no real brand except for my content. However, I did redo my Top Ten Tuesday button to match my site. So I guess that’s something.

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6 comments

  1. Grace

    Aaaah, I know the feeling! I’ve read covers that have spoiled an entire story. But I still make it a point to read covers, because I really don’t like books that will make me cry, so if the cover starts talking about tragic events or death and despair, I know it probably isn’t a good fit for me.

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  2. Ally Bean

    “However, the best way to discover if I feel like reading something is to just read it.”

    So true. And the same goes for blogs. All the emphasis on having a consistent brand across multiple platforms is pointless if there’s no content/soul there to begin with. And in my experience the smoother something looks, the less I find it interesting. Meaning that I believe in the old adage: don’t judge a book [or blog] by its cover.

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  3. Melanie

    I’ve totally been having this problem lately! It seems like they spell everything out and you’re halfway through the book STILL going through stuff set out in the synopsis! I don’t think I could give up reading synopses though. I like an idea of genre. I picked up Transmission [ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/594144.Transmission ] based on cover (primarily), but I haven’t read it yet.

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  4. Pingback: Armchair BEA: Day 5: It’s A Wrap – Orange Juice Edits

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