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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22 comments:

Jo said...

I think reading a little about an author can help understand a book abit more once you've read it.

gautami tripathy said...

Some authors I do wish to know, others, not really!

Here is my BTT post!

Jennifer said...

'Aha' moments are great. :-) Sometimes I wish I'd known something as I was reading instead of finding out afterwards but better late than never I suppose!

Chris said...

I had a few 'aha' moments when I read the book I mention in my BTT answer.

Yvonne said...

I'm pretty much the same way as you are Sally. I read the back cover and then the story, but I'm not really hung up on the author's beliefs. I don't go searching out info on the author, except if it's a writing style I like, I want to find the author's backlist. I don't really care if their personal beliefs are the same as mine.

Beth F said...

Knowing about an author can sometimes color one's understanding of their works.

jlshall said...

I feel pretty much the same way. And I think I'm more interested in seeing photos of the authors than I am in reading their bios - it's always interesting to see how people present themselves to the public.

Kathy said...

LOL Sally I thought I had posted here. I meant to. I'm like you I will usually read the backcover first. =) Hope you have a great day.

Barbara H. said...

I usually just look at the back cover, too, before reading a story. But sometimes after I have read and enjoyed several books by one author, I like to read more about them, figuring their own life story goes into the stories they write.

teabird said...

If I love a book, I always want to know about the author. Rarely have I been disappointed!

my post is here.

Charli and me said...

Hi Sally, I enjoyed reading your post. I, like you, read the information about the book and skip the information about author until later. I hope you have a nice day!

thatsthebook said...

I generally don't read the biographical bits that come with the book either. I may read a complete biography if I'm really interested in the author but that would be after reading their material so it wouldn't influence their work.

bermudaonion said...

I can't think of any author I avoid because of something I know about them.

The Social Frog said...

The only reason I would avoid a book is because I have no interest in reading it, does not matter to me who or what the author is about. Thanks for visiting my blog :)

zetor said...

The story is so much more important to me.

Lisa said...

Normally, learning about the author enhances how I feel about the book. Especially if I like the book.

mattviews said...

The truth is, at least for me, knowing the life of an author might incline me to read more of the works. Knowing is key to understand the authorial meaning in fiction. After all, author is a life, reading an author is just getting to know the life.

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Good post. I just had a thought and may add it to my post. The internet has provided a unique way of checking out authors since many are blogging or have their own websites. Once I find a book on amazon, I will try to find their website and find out about them.

milet said...

i have the same attitude with you as i read books. i look for the summary at the back, read the book and do not pay much attention to the author.

but there are times when the author writes so well that i wanted to know a little about her through her biography.

thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on my btt.

Dot said...

I too tend to find out about the author after I have read the book and only if I have enjoyed it. Happy BTT!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I like to read all that extra stuff - about the author, interviews, excerpts, etc.

Here's my experience with a full-length biography.

Shanna said...

I pretty much read the back or maybe catch an interview on T.V. but that is about it.

You can check out my whole 'take' here...

http://inspiringbookworms.blogspot.com/2009/02/booking-through-thursday-too-much.html