Every time I pick up a book to read, I go through a particular routine. First, I must read the book jacket, including the blurbs on the back, the summary of the plot, and the author’s bio. If there is a photo of the author, I like to check that out, too. Of course, I also examine the cover’s artwork and how it might depict or represent the book I’m about to read. Then, if there is an introduction or a foreword, I will be sure to read it. After following this routine, I’m ready to start reading the book.
Why do I practice this routine before reading any book? I really don’t know for sure, I can only speculate. Maybe it’s because I want to savor what I am, I hope, about to enjoy. Or maybe it’s simply a habit I can’t break.
Lately, I’ve encountered a problem with plot summaries on book jackets: spoilers! Why would the publisher allow that? I’ve come to dislike movie previews for that very reason; the preview often gives away too much of the plot. Likewise with book jacket plot summaries. Also, the foreword to a book I recently read contained a spoiler! What’s going on here? I think this is shoddy, sloppy marketing. I love books. I love reading. I don’t appreciate it when my enjoyment of a story is partly ruined by poor marketing techniques.