I've been thinking about book blurbs. Do you notice them? Do they make you pick up a book or not?
Many years ago, before I was a librarian and blogger, I was browsing in Borders. I came across a book that was chick lit and was blurbed by an author who had written a couple of books I read and loved. I bought the book based on the blurb. As a browsing reader, the blurb helped sell me on the book.
Now that I'm a librarian, I read many, many review sources. I have a giant blog feed that I read various reviews on. And I love checking out Goodreads to see what a book is currently rated and what others have to say about the book. I also still pay attention to book blurbs, but I don't know that they carry as much weight for me as a reader anymore.
I still like what other authors have to say, but I also notice the dark side of book blurbs. I notice when authors become like Marshall in How I Met Your Mother and their Stamp of Approval and I start to doubt their blurbs. Or there are authors that I know share an agent or publisher and in the back of mind I can't help but wonder if they really love that book as much as they say or if it's just because they have a connection.
I have a hard time trusting glowing book blurbs now. I tend to trust book reviews more than anything else. I still enjoy reading the blurbs and what others have to say, but I don't hold them as highly as I used to. If anything, the blurbs may help my interest in a book (so they're still doing the marketing job they are intended for) but I'm still going to research reviews. Or pick it up based on the jacket copy and because it's a story I'm interested in. But for a casual reader who isn't constantly looking up books on Goodreads, book blurbs can be a great way to discover something new.
So I'm curious-Do book blurbs matter to you?