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. 🙂
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?