Book Blurbs: “Do we need them?”

Photo by Rashtravardhan Kataria on Unsplash

Book Blurbs were the topic of an article I read the other day. Essentially, the purpose and future of book blurbs were called into question. Who relies and is influenced by blurbs? Do they even help sell books? Some blurbs can ride the line between flippant and miracle item. 

Book blurbs for me are simply noise that my super nice brain auto-culls from existence for me. I typically only notice them post transaction, as I’m putting my book down for the night. “I read it all night!” The blurb states in a flexing manner. Causing me to wonder if something is wrong with me because I am a responsible failure who is going to sleep instead of staying up all night reading. To be honest, even if I wanted to I can’t physically do it. I get sleepy while reading later at night. 

Personally, I do not care who has signed their name or said whatever about a book when I buy it.  Let me qualify that some. I do frequent book blogs, reviews, and podcasts that may sway me or enlighten me on the existence of a book. Typically though, it’s an advertisement or a spoiler free review. Telling me what the book is about is going to influence me more than someone’s blurb. 

Not being able to put the book down or reading it in one sitting sounds like I’m going to have a rough few days and develop a UTI. 

If I go to party, I want to go home. If I play a video game, I will want to go to bed. Even if I’m having a great time. There’s more great times to be had another time and keeping a schedule is going to make me feel a whole lot better. I want to read a book by Hunter S. Thompson, not be Hunter S. Thompson.

Also, how true is that? How many people have read these books in one sitting and couldn’t put it down? Who has torn a book in half and yelled, “A masterpiece! I must go buy another copy!” 

What do you think? Are book blurbs necessary? Are they as effective as they once were?