Thursday, February 5, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - Too Much Information?

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Suggested by Simon Thomas: Have you ever been put off an author’s books after reading a biography of them? Or the reverse--a biography has made you love an author more?

My Response:
I seldom read the author's biography--that small snippet on the back of the book cover--before I dive into the novel. My habit is to read the back cover material relating to the tale, skip the part on the writer, and then begin the story. As I read, I sometimes pause to go to back to the book cover to read the author's tidbit. However, most often I read it after I've finished the book, particularly if I've enjoyed the read.

I don't see how information could cause me to think less of a person's work. There have been times that I have an "ah-ha moment" after seeing a tidbit about the writer. For instance, I just finished Inside Story, a book about an award-winning correspondent. After turning the final page, I read the material on the author, Susan Page Davis, and discovered that she had worked as a journalist. Then I thought, "That's why the novel read so realistically." (I'll have that review posted tomorrow.)

What about you? Does the author information persuade you to read or bypass a book?

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April said...

I don't think I've ever read an author's biography until after I've read the book, and sometimes, not even then. I read a book because it sounds interesting to me, not because of who's written it.

Enjoy your Thursday!

Anonymous said...

I must be weird as I always read that before starting the book. I like to see "where they are coming from" as you might say when writing the book.

Susan Page Davis said...

Sally, what a great thing for you to say! I'm honored. I love reading about authors and how they researched or learned about their topics. It's great when the author brings a scene to the reader and it's lifelike and REAL for the reader, who's never seen the actual place or event. Of course, sometimes we write about places we haven't been or events we haven't actually seen, but we always hope our passion and hard research will make it come alive for the reader!

♥ Kathy said...

If I'm just looking at the book to see if it's something I want to read I look at the author's biography. If it's an author I already know I do like you and read afterwards, more out of curiosity than anything. Maybe they've updated it since the last book I read :)

Bridget said...

I would answer that question exactly the same way you did Sally!

Judi said...

Morning Sally..
Interesting. I don't want to know tooo much about the story..I'll have a quick skip through to get a "jest" of it and then I read. I may read about the author at some point.
If I particularly enjoy a novel then I'm curious to know more about them also.

have a wonderful day Sally

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Good Morning Sally, Interesting post.. Made me think.. I usually always read about the author BEFORE reading the book. AND since I'm such a creature of habit, if I like one book by that author, I'll read all of their books.

Hope you have a great day.

bj said...

I seldom read about the author until after reading the book. Not sure why...just a formed habit, I suppose.
Xo bj

Jo said...

I have that 'Ah Ha' moment quite frequently when I've finished a book, and start to read a bit about the author

Dawn said...

I usually don't read anything about the author until I've gotten into the book. I don't think too much would sway me to not read, though I can see being intrigued enough by an author's biography to read one of his/her books.

take care,

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

GM Sally..most of the books I read I have read them for years same authors so already know their bio's..hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

After reading the book, I usually want to know something about the author, and THEN I read the author info. I have never read the info about the author in order to make a decision about reading a book. This was an interesting question. laurie

Shimmy Mom said...

I never read about the author until after the book either.

The Bliss Journey said...

Interesting post Sally, I usually read the cover first and if that interests me then I will read about the author. The only reason I would not buy a book because of the authors bio is if they are really sick,devil worshipers, making money from a murder they committed, like OJ. that kind of stuff. I wouldn't want to see them prosper.

Elizabeth said...

Nice, A very interesting post, made me think about what I do. Yes, I usually read the book first, then if the story appeals to me, I look for other books by the author and then read the little biography on the back.

I know what you mean by the "aha" moment...the author of the Twilight series also wrote The Host and my daughter just read it. It is set in Arizona and it turns out that Stephanie Meyer lives in Phoenix, so she wrote knowledgeably about the area.

Cool idea to ask us, Sally!

~♥~ Monica S said...

I read the back... unless it's a series.. that I am working on reading now.. THEN I stay away from the back.. because I know they'll tell something back there.. and I don't want to know...
Luckily I have had the pleasure of becoming friends with my favorite norwegian author.. and I just love her to bits..
(she's on my sidebar)


Anonymous said...

I read a book from front to back always,nothing the author writes sways me either way.Some are more interesting than others.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I vary this... sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't, Sally. I really am more interested in the book itsel and whether I will like it.


Sheila :-)

Judith said...

Thinking about it I realize that I read about the author first before I read the book. Judith

Shelia said...

Hello, Sallyness! Oh, I don't think the bio on the author bothers me one way or the other! Now where is my funny?
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Blondie's Journal said...


First time paticipating in BTT. Great question & answer (& comments). When I shop for books I spend hours looking. I read the back of the book, about the author, all the reviews and the first page. I just gobble up all the info before I invest my money and time!