Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog! Today’s post is discussion-orientated, and is going to be around whether you are able to guess you are going to love a book (or not) before you have read it. Ever since I’ve started reading, my attitude towards whether I start reading a book or not has definitely changed over the years. When I was younger, I would just pick up a book and read it… but now, I put a lot more thought into whether I’m going to start a book or not, and that has definitely changed how accurate my guesses are on whether I will like it or not.
Recently, I read 1984 by George Orwell and I absolutely loved it. I spontaneously picked it up at the bookstore, and after a quick search on Goodreads (seeing it was on my TBR and that the synopsis interested me), I purchased it. After the first page or so, I knew I would enjoy it, and after the first couple of chapters, I knew that this would be one of my favourite books. Sometimes, you are instantly able to feel the flow of the writing, the subtle characterisation, the masterful world-building – and are instantly able to sense that this is going to be a good book. I definitely have had this happen to me many times with favourite books. Books such as Pride and Prejudice, when I started it, I knew from the famous first line that it truly was a classic and I was going to love it. But is it possible to get this feeling before you start the book?
My conclusion is yes, because this has happened to me many times before, its frequency having increased over the years. I think upon discovering Goodreads and delving into book blogging, it has significantly increased my awareness of different genres and styles of books. When it came to starting my own blog and writing book reviews, it forced me to think deeper about what really made me like/dislike x book. Upon being able to identify that, I was able to realise what made books five-star reads for me, by comparing reviews I had written for books I had loved and books I hadn’t.
Slight tangent here: this is one of the many reasons that I LOVE this blog and book blogging so much. Being apart of this wonderful and supportive community has only encouraged me to widen my reading and explore more books! This has then helped me to develop a keen understanding of my own taste in books (but of course, this is subject to change – this blog is a true testament to that!).
Of course, because we’re talking about books that we haven’t read, we aren’t necessarily able to make judgements about the writing style, the characterisation or the world-building before reading. But we are able to learn about the premise from the synopsis and learn more about the plot from book reviews. Another thing that has really helped me to know whether I will like a book or not is through Goodreads, where I have been able to find reviewers that have a similar taste in books to me, so by reading their reviews I’m also able to make a good judgement.
Through all this, I have been able to minimise the time spent reading books I don’t enjoy (and you can also DNF! I am never afraid to DNF if needed haha). It’s also possible that this is the result of my high average Goodreads rating… which is 4.00 exactly – because I don’t think I’m very easy to please when it comes to books. The reason I have become so picky with starting books is because I simply do not have as much time as I did when I was younger, and obviously I would much rather spend my time reading a book I will enjoy!
Let me know your thoughts… do you think it’s possible to know a favourite book before you have read it? Have you ever had this happen to you before?