THURSDAY RAMBLINGS IS A CASUAL FEATURE/MEME HERE ON JOSIE’S BOOK CORNER WHERE I PICK A TOPIC AND DISCUSS IT WITH YOU. THIS IS A CASUAL POST, FILLED WITH RAMBLING AND CHATTING! SO BASICALLY, WE ARE SIMPLY HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE TOPIC AT HAND!
Ignorance is bliss. Well, maybe not in life situations and such, but from a bookish perspective it sure is! Let me explain myself. First of all, let’s define the term ignorance: it is the lack of knowledge or information, basically. You’re probably wondering, why is ignorance a good thing in a bookish perspective? Reading is an incredible experience; it’s magical, it’s fantastic and coming to learn about a book as we read it is a wonderful experience. One of the things that makes reading a book so great, I think, is ignorance: not knowing what a book is about, not knowing what is going to happen, not knowing much of the content. It makes reading a book a journey of discovery, and journeys are always fun.
As humans, we are naturally curious creatures. We like to know what things are about, we like to stick our noses in things. After all, why do we have news? To inform us of everything that goes on in the world. We can’t help it. But this is what I say to all you bookworms out there:
Your curiosity may just turn out to be the death of you – or should I say, the death of your potential enjoyment of a book.
Being a book blogger and book lover, I know how hard it is to go into books without any prior knowledge – especially with hyped up books. There are reviews everywhere, people are constantly talking about it, sharing it before the release date and anticipating it. Before you know it, you already know the gist of the story. And then there’s the whole case of book blurbs. While it is okay to know the general summary of a book, I’d say that it would be most beneficial for all of us, if we could go into all books in ignorance.
I love going into a book blind. It’s so exciting and the feeling, AGH THE FEELING. When you go into a book blind, you’ve got a fresh mind and you don’t go into it with expectations already planted in your head. This is great, because expectations can be very destructive to your enjoyment of a book. You can easily end up disappointing yourself. This is also why I ADORE the idea of blind dates with a book (no no, I don’t mean an actual date with an actual person, I mean, buying a book that is wrapped up so you can’t see the cover or the blurb). They cover up the books you can’t see anything except a small little note hanging off the book, with a few dot points giving a sneak peek into what the novel will be about. I love this idea! It gets you intrigued enough that you want to purchase it and see what it is all about.
Blurbs can be crippling to your reading experience too – there are many blurbs that reveal too much about a book, giving away the details that we’d want to find out as we read, rather than see it initially before reading. I’ve heard and felt this frustration first hand, and it’s not a pleasant one.
Reviews can be just as bad, or even worse. Not to say that all book reviews share too much, but I’ve seen many book reviews that say way too much in their book summaries than they should have. I appreciate someone who reviews books without a book summary beforehand – I mean, I’m reading your review to hear what was GOOD about the book, or what’s NOT GOOD about it, not because I want to know what the story is about. I want to know whether it would be a good investment to read, or not. Spare me the unnecessary and rather too-much-information summary. I’ve seen some reviews that suggest to their readers to go into the book without knowing much, in which they refrain from revealing much about the book except for the very, simple basics of it e.g. genre, theme, style of the book. This is a good way to go, in my opinion.
Though, maybe you’re the kind of reader that loves to read the blurb, or read millions (okay… maybe not millions but you get my drift) of reviews before you jump into the book – if so, I’m not judging, this is a JUDGE FREE ZONE GUYS – then I say do what floats your boat! But I say to you, ignorance is bliss. Going into a book with ignorance helps to relieve some of the crazy hype that some books have. Of course, you may avoid the more intense blows of hype, but the hype will still be there.
Especially if you’re a Twitter user: YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE HYPE. (Or maybe you can, if you really try.)