Do You Pre-Soak New Books?

soaking dishes for blog

Did your mother teach you to pre-soak dishes before putting them into the dishwasher? If you’re like me, you probably forgot to soak the dishes once or twice. I bet you learned your lesson! Dried on food is hard to wipe off. My mother will be happy to know that I pre-soak all of my dishes before putting them into the dishwasher. I might leave them soaking for 24 hours, but that’s another issue. šŸ™‚

This raises an interesting question: Is it okay to pre-soak books? What I mean is, do you like to read a little bit before you decide to commit to a book? Or, are you a daredevil who likes to know how a book ends before you begin reading it?

I started pre-soaking books in school when I had to start juggling my academic and leisure reading schedules. My free time was very limited. It might sound harsh, but I had to make sure that a book was going to be worth my time before I checked it out from the library.

This was how I ultimately fell in love with one of my favorite books, Eragon. I don’t usually buy books on impulse. I prefer to check books out from the library first. However, I came across an advertisement for Eragon in the school Scholastic magazine (back when they had scholastic sales), and I knew I just had to have it.

The prologue was good. It was filled with action and mystery and elves..I loved it! But it didn’t have anything to do with the summary. I started panicking a little. This wasn’t what I had bought. And so I just started reading. I read the first chapter, then I skipped ahead and read a random page…and I kept doing this until I came to the last chapter. Yes, I read the final chapter of Eragon before I finished the book. I had no idea what I’d just read, but I knew that I had to finish the story! I don’t feel bad about what I did, because I might not have given the story a chance to pick up its pace if I hadn’t already pre-soaked it.

I’m not always that thorough. Usually I just read the first chapter and maybe a couple of pages at the end of the book to make sure that it’s interesting. (Interesting is a subjective term, of course.) I have a natural need to not buy or read books that could possibly mean nothing to me. How many of you have made the mistake of getting halfway through a new find and realizing that you don’t really care if the protagonist survives or not? Who really wants a boring (again subjective) book on their shelf?

This ties in nicely with the old saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover.

I want to know if a book starts off a little slow but picks up later or if the ending is so compelling that I just have to find out who, what, where, when, why, and how. I also want to know right off the bat if the ending is meaningless, if an author’s style is too repetitive, or if I think the main character is annoying.

Even as book lovers, we may not be able to tell these things right from the beginning. But I think we should give it a good try before we commit to a new book, especially if it’s longer than 300 pages.

That’s my long-winded answer to the question I just asked you. Now I want to know your thoughts. So what do you think? Do you think pre-soaking books is okay? Is it necessary? Is it blasphemous? How far is too far? Has it saved you from reading a boring book? Has it ruined an ending for you?


6 thoughts on “Do You Pre-Soak New Books?

  1. (Blasphemy of blasphemies) I read the last part of the last Harry Potter before settling in for four hours to read the rest…I wanted to make sure it was worth that evening of my life first. I read it anyway, but I could get up and leave it in the middle if I needed to.
    I always read at least the first few pages, and I usually flick through to random pages, although I do try to avoid giant spoilers at the end (except in the above, extreme, case).
    Have you heard of the P.112 Award? It’s a French literary award which selects books on the basis of P.112. Because everyone works hard on the first and last pages, but do they put that effort in in the middle?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that was an extreme pre-soak! I never even considered pre-soaking any of the Harry Potters. But I’m glad it was worth it!

      No, I’ve never heard of that award. That’s awesome. It makes so much sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe you read the end of Eragon first! I don’t want to read the end of a book, because the whole time I’ll know what’s going to happen and I’ll be impatient to get there. Also, I don’t want to know how a book ends if I like it…That feels like a waste of time! šŸ˜‰ But I still love you, Wife :-*


    1. I always knew you were old-fashioned. That’s exactly what I was hoping someone would say. Reading a little ahead does take some mystery out of it, but it doesn’t ALWAYS have to take out the fun. What I want to know is…do you ever have to struggle through boring sections in books…or are all your old sci-fi books just normally boring? šŸ˜‰ (I’m just joking)


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