Top 5 Parts of a Book


This post was inspired, in part by my musing over myths that often discourage nonreaders from reading a book... and these page-turners I just I finished reading.

You may be familiar with the stories... being lured to books by popular consensus, a teacher, the cover, or how about this one; a reader telling you about a book he or she has read that sounds interesting, so you get the book only to come upon one more reason why you strongly dislike reading.

By knowing the Top 5 Parts of a Book will help ensure a better reading experience for the book selected.

I’ll start with the Copyright Page. Knowing approximately when a story was written is a quick way to gauge, or engage interest. While I can get into any story, (with provisions…see below for more); I do appreciate knowing in advance whether I’m about to move into an authentic “old-fashioned” story, or a story that’s written from a more current perspective.

The Synopsis is critical, and needs to be no more than two or three sentences. For me, one sentence is preferable since I rarely read past the first sentence.

The Author Bio is another excellent way to gauge, or engage interest. For instance…I do want to read a former U.S. DA whose written mainstream crime novels, suddenly switching keyboards to pluck out a sweet sappy erotic love novel; or the grandfather who at 72 deciding to try his hand at doing something new and exciting. Often it’s the author’s backstory that puts more magic into the story.

The Title however, is often my true songstress. And that’s title, not the picture or art on the cover. How to Be BlackA Nation of WussesSh*t My Dad SaysSomething's Wrong with Your ScaleThe Crisis Before Midlife • Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker… all books I selected by the title. Okay, so there was a little bias in selecting the Wuss book. It did help that Rendell wrote the book, which takes me back to the Author often being a pivotal deciding factor.

Above all, it’s that First Page that is the kicker! It generally spells the ‘all she (or he) wrote’. While first pages are not absolute indicators about how good a book will eventually be, there is no greater primal joy than opening a book and knowing right away "I’ve got to keep reading."

Comments

  1. All great points. I also find a little Goggling to be useful in enhancing my reading experience, especially when reading an older book or a classic. I've learned so much history by looking up references, historical context, and people mentioned in old novels. For example when reading the Anitole France satire Penguin Island, I had to Google the Dreyfus Affair, something I'm sure I learned about in school but could not remember what it was all about. Penguin Island makes a lot more sense if you have brush up on that event. I don't know what we did before the internet.

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    1. So true...though I usually don't look into stories until after-the-fact... which although I'm not familiar with Penguin Island, your comment did remind me of the Hansel and Gretel story. I always wondered what bothered me about that story.

      And (smiling) before the Internet we relied on those 'back to the basic' tips I posted;-)

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  2. Thanks for sharing this post. My book reading choices is a combination of many things...1) I've always wanted to read it but never had the chance until now, 2) like you said, popular consensus and or recommendations by other avid readers, 3) if it's another title by an author I've read before and love, 4) the cover, the title, the synopsis and 5) that first page.

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    1. Lidy, your comment took me back to when I first became that serial reader and was all into one genre, actually something like how I'm stuck on memoirs. It also got me musing on your no.1... I think I have the perfect post for that topic!

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