Thoughts for Thursday (1): I do not read synopses.

Welcome to Thoughts for Thursday! This feature is our outlet to talk with you about whatever we currently have on our minds. It might be bookish, it might not! Now for this week's thought:

I do not read synopses.

So I’ve realized I have this little problem where I don't read the synopsis of a book before I start reading it.  If I read synopses at all, it’s usually right as I add a book to my TBR , which can be a while before I actually read it. And to be honest, I more often than not just skim the damn thing and then forget about it.

So how the hell do I know what I'm about to read? Well, I am just realizing that I generally haven't a clue. Granted, I will typically have some vague sense of what I’m getting into. Like, I’ll normally know what genre the book falls under and if my reader friends are liking it or not. And sometimes I'll know the broader subject matter if I pick it up in reviews I read. But really, that's pretty much it.

Do you know how many times I’ve started reading a book only to find out that it’s not about what I thought it was going to be about at all? Let's just say, a lot. Because you wanna know what’s worse than my absolute disregard for synopses? My mind totally fabricates what the story is about! I will make these totally unsubstantiated assumptions just by looking at the cover and hearing things around the blogosphere. Now, I am not wrong all the time, but I am wrong quite a lot. Why, this book is about fairies, of course! Wait, what? It's about aliens?! *facepalm*
OR, I’ll pick up a book expecting it to be YA, only to be surprised to find out that it is NA or Adult. This lapse is a fun one though because this revelation always comes at the first sex scene and until that point I am left guessing how many times it is ok to say erection or penis in YA before it’s not YA anymore. But COME ON.  If I don’t read synopses I sure as hell am not going to look at the age range it’s classified under.

So I guess what I am saying is that I pick my books based on random whims and blind faith and just dive right in. And more often than not I set myself up for a surprise. Why not just start reading synopses, you ask? For several crappy reasons:
  1. I am lazy
  2. I am rarely on my computer so I am forced to rely on the Goodreads iPhone App to search for books
  3. The Goodreads iPhone App sucks
  4. I am anxious to just start the book already
  5. Did I mention I am lazy?
  6.  I enjoy the books about the same regardless
Sometimes I will have to go back and read a synopsis after I’ve started a book because I have no idea WTF is happening without some baseline. But generally I just don’t read them.

Anyone else have this problem? What do you do with synopses?

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19 comments:

  1. I usually always read the synopses, because I need to know what kind of book I'm picking up and if it's even something I want to read. However, I love when I have no clue what the book is about, because then I don't have any expectations. I recently read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, and I only picked it up because I seen it everywhere in the blogosphere, so when I started and found out it had everything I loved in a book, I was so surprised and happy, and I loved that I had no idea where the story was going. So, I think it can have benefits both to read the synopses (so you don't accidentially pick up a book with topics you'll never read) and not read it, as you don't create any expectations beside those based on the cover.

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    1. I have a lot of reader friends whose opinions I trust so I tend to pick my books that way. I'm not too too picky when it comes to books and I can't think of many I've picked up with topics that I would have avoided had I read the synopses. Usually I can pick up on key words in reviews/on twitter etc and know to steer clear. But mistakes have happened! If it starts happening more often though I will definitely have to change my habits! It is nice when you are pleasantly surprised by a book! I had the same experience with The Raven Boys. I read it on recommendation alone and it had everything I loved in a book. So that was definitely a time this worked in my favor!

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  2. I usually read the synopsis, because I like to know what the story is about in big lines. It's the first way for me to decided whether I want to read it or not. I hate it when they put something important in the blurb, so that would be a great reasons to not-read it. But I find I enjoy a book more if I know what it's about :p

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    1. Yeah spoilers in blurbs are a no no. On the other hand they can be extremely vague and useless. In general though, I definitely see the advantage of reading the synopsis before you start reading the book to get that baseline. That's why I think of this as a bad habit haha. Then again, even though I can't know for sure, I think I enjoy the book about the same.

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  3. I never read the synopsis either. I'm terribly lazy, and synopsises are always like a paragraph of clich├ęd sentences after each other, and sometimes the synopsis doesn't even fit the story anyway.

    But yeah, I sometimes totally expect vampires to show up and all of a sudden the book is about aliens. Whoops xD

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    1. Haha I am so glad that I am not alone! Especially in having expectations for books that are don't end up being true. :D

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  4. I do the same things, but for different reasons, it seems! :) I like going into books blind A LOT. Sometimes I spoil them for myself -- even the smallest of surprises -- from something in the synopsis. Most of the time I try to get a feel from other bloggers!

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    1. See I am incredibly impatient and don't exactly mind knowing what's coming. So spoilers aren't the worse thing ever for me. But in terms of expectations it is nice going in without any because they can have a big impact on how you experience a book. I just wish I didn't make up things about the book! And that's my method too - getting a feel from other bloggers. It worked out pretty well for me so far. :D

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  5. I never read synopses. I'm like you in that I read them when I'm first adding them to my TBR, but that's it. I do it because I like to go into a book blind. I like being surprised by things that might've been mentioned in the synopsis but that I forgot about. It also helps me be a lot more objective when I'm reading, which is something I'm definitely working on.

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    1. Woo another one ;) It's interesting... I don't exactly not read them so that I can go in blind and stay objective but that is definitely an advantage I didn't think about. Although I don't steer clear of reviews for books I haven't read so that can defeat the purpose sometimes.

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  6. I'm not a fan of reading synopses, because they often give away far too much. I want to go into a book knowing next to nothing, so reading a synopsis would defeat that mission. I also get put off if I read about a love interest in a synopsis, because that's really not needed. Just tell me about the plot, damn it!

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    1. Ugh misleading synopses or synopses that are too narrow in scope are the worst! I also hate when half the synopsis is telling you that this book is the next big thing or talks about the author's accomplishments! That's not the point of a synopsis!
      "synopsis - summary of text: a condensed version of a text, e.g. a summary of the plot of a book" :D

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  7. I read synopses to get the general idea so I know I want to read the book, but then I try not to read them again. Sometimes they give away a lot. I was reading one recently, after I finished the book, and it gave away something that happens almost at the very end of the book, and it's huge. So for my review I actually cut that part out of the synopsis. ~Pam

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    1. Exactly, I pick my reads off my TBR and if they made it on my TBR I either read the synopsis at some point and was interested or the book came highly recommended from some source. And I don't know why they would spoil the book in the synopsis! That's a faux pas!

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  8. YAY I thought I was the only one! I don't read synopses just b/c some contains spoilers. All I want to know is the genre. Yup. That's it. The more vague, the better lol.

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    1. There are a few of us out there :) Welcome to our little club!

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  9. I love your new feature Thoughts for Thursday!!

    Your comment on the difference between YA and NA was hilarious and pretty much so true.

    I may start your method and occasionally not read the synopsis to see what I think. I'm one of those people that is overly cautious about the books I choose to read because I just really want to love them all. There was one time recently I didn't read a synopsis and I was so freaking confused I had to go back and read it. lol

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    1. Yay thanks!!! :) And it happens to me EVERY time when reading NA hahah it's kind of ridiculous.

      Most of the books I read have been read and reviewed by at least some of my reader friends already. That tends to give me the baseline I need. I don't do a lot of adventure/discovery reading. I feel like you do much more of this (since half of your books are books I haven't heard of yet hah). I can see the reason for reading the synopsis much more so in these instances. It will be interesting to see the difference in your experience if you do forgo the synopsis though!

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  10. I read the synopsis, then I try to find an excerpt and then I decide If I want to read the book or not. I like to know what the book is about. A few weeks ago I was lazy and bought a book I thought was contemporary romance. Turned out I had spent a lot of money on a dark dystopian novel. NOT what I wanted at all =)

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