Monday, August 08, 2011

Famous Last Words

“He is coming, and I am here.” -- from The Time Travelers’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
There are many ways to judge a book. My favorite remains by actually reading it, end to end. But, if you're lacking all the time necessary to actually sit down and read there are some ways to shorthand the decision-making process.
“The eyes and faces all turned themselves towards me, and guiding myself by them, as by a magical thread, I stepped into the room.” -- from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Obviously, some people judge a book by its cover. And despite everything we say about that, it really can give you a pretty good feel for a literary work... even if that feel isn’t always the correct one.

Some people read the first 50 pages. Some people read only page 69. But the United Kingdom’s Stylist Magazine offers up a whole new way: one I not only would not have thought of, but sincerely would not indulge.
Because, whilst the beginning of a book may get all the glory, it's the ending that really stays with you. A vague last line casts a shadow over the entire novel, whereas a powerful and poignant one will keep you wondering for weeks to come.
And while that may be true, its also the ending of a book that can give the game away. For my part, I think I’ll stick with just old fashioned reading to decide whether or not I like a book. If you want to check out Stylist’s method, it’s here.


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