69 is a test? Okay.

I was over on Epic Reads’ blog and was reading about this theory to use when you don’t know what book to choose to read. (see the post here ~~~> {Epic Reads: The 69 Test} Supposedly, 69 is where the action is at. Outside of a teenage guy’s mind, that is. Read the page, snippets or otherwise, and if it speaks to you, you might read the book.

I had never heard of that. Usually, I read the back of the book, inside of the book jacket, or online description and think… “Oh, that sounds good. I’ll read it.” or “Nah. Next.” Who knows what books I’ve missed by just doing that…I mean other than ones that didn’t excite me from the get go.

So just for fun, I’ll try it out with a few of my favorites:

“No one seemed concerned about Edward, though I explained over and over that he was the hero — how he had pulled me out of the way and had nearly been crushed, too.”

~Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

“The finished clock is resplendent. At first glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black clock with a white face and a silver pendulum.”

~The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

“He stares at me, and I don’t look away. He isn’t a dog, but the same rules apply. Looking away is submissive. Looking him in the eye is a challenge. It’s my choice.”

~Divergent, by Veronica Roth

So, does it work? Keeping in mind that these are just a tiny snippet of the page from the hardback copies (unsure if the digital or paperbacks are different…mostly because I’m too lazy to check right now.) I think it’s mixed.

Twilight already had a major event or two happen by this point, although I would wonder, had I not read this book a million times, what exactly did Edward do and why no one seemed to notice.

The Night Circus seems a little boring. That being said, the continuing lines go on to describe how magical this clock is as it transforms into something completely different. A night and day comparison. Honestly, though, if I hadn’t already read this book, I wouldn’t be intrigued enough to read it just from page 69 alone.

Divergent still gets me! Okay…page sixty nine begins in the middle of a sentence, so I would definitely go back to the beginning of it and start. And it would hook me as Tris, is being so snarky to Four. (This moment is at their first meal after the Choosing Day ceremony.) And it would hook me enough to want to know why Tris is being so snarky and her friend, Christina, thinks she has a death wish.

So, let me try this with a few books I haven’t read yet… Again, these are from the hardcover and the “Remastered Full-Color Edition” respectively.

“Sharp rocks dig into S.’s skin as he rests on all fours beneath a pier, coughing seawater.”

~Ship of Theseus, by V. Straka

~which is actually S., by JJ Abrams

“Of course she’s not there, but that doesn’t get me down. I’m still optimistic she’ll arrive.”

~House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski

S. is a difficult book to put to this test, because this is a book that is a story within a story. What that snippet comes from is the book by V. Straka… Not the annotations of these other characters from the JJ Abrams part of the book. And the whole story within a story has a feel of Inception to me, and that’s why I chose this book to read.

The House of Leaves is so difficult to determine from just that small piece. The page begins in the middle of a thought, but as this book is the most confusing book to read (according to the reviews on Amazon), it’s undetermined if following that sentence/thought would be helpful. Then the part where the snippet came from was in the middle of this guy’s dream and after dream experiences. It leaves one lost…so if it’s something you want to make sense of, you’ll read it. And if it’s so confusing you’ll never find your way out, you might skip it.

And lastly, I am going to try this with a few stories I’ve written…mostly out of my own curiosity to see what I’ve done and if it’s any good.

“Slow motion waves throughout the room as his hand reaches for the door knob, progressing frame by frame. Intense fear takes control immediately. The surge forces me through McClane, slamming the door shut.”

~Human Touch, a YA romance with a paranormal twist

 

“Everything I had been afraid of happening, was actually happening at that moment. I knew I couldn’t stay there. I managed to get up and stumble my way down to the gym floor. I brushed past Edward quickly as I made my escape.”

~It’s Been Ten Years, the first fanfic I wrote

“I ran my fingers through my hair as Sable came into view. Sitting with her… Well, fuck me sideways…”

~Life Imitating Art, an eromedy

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a little bias about my works. Human Touch is pure genius. I guess if I didn’t feel that way from my snippet, I’d have no business querying my story. Even if you all hate it, I love it. And I would read it. Probably pure bias on my behalf.

It’s Been Ten Years…oh, sigh. That little fic o’ mine. I look at it and love it because it got me back into writing. I look at it and cringe, because I know I can write better than that. I look at it and still think it’s mine no matter what. I own her. So, would I read it? I don’t know. Bella is running from Edward, while Jasper is holding Alice back from killing Edward. Very soapy. And, as it turns out, I do like a good sudsy drama from time to time. But off the snippet? I probably wouldn’t give it a read.

Life Imitating Art. That is the first line on page 69. The first moment my main character, an author,  sees the hottest man on the planet, even if he is her new editor that drives her mentally insane because he’s um-something years younger than her and thinks he knows it all when it comes to editing a book. Oh, something like this, to me, if I’m in that mood to read that kind of story…Yeah. Off that one line, I’d so read the pages bald. Again, I am sure there is a lot of bias in that statement.

I guess for me, I am either a make-up-my-own-story-that-I-want-to-read sort of person, or I really do prefer to judge a book by its cover–the images, colors, and synopsis. I think jumping into a page–69 or otherwise–is quite a dangerous thing. Especially for someone who hates spoilers…and what if the best thing of the book is happening on that page in that moment. It would suck to know that ahead of time.

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4 Comments

Filed under books that speak, on the book shelf, rêveur, read

4 responses to “69 is a test? Okay.

  1. kitt

    I agree, this is no way to judge a book. I just tried it with TFIOS and itwas a no go. Not to say I might not thumb thru a few pages, maybe peek at the end, but in general I like to be carried along by the story.

    Book covers have come a long way!

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    • TFIOS was a good book. And I would probably think the exact same thing. Ummm…No. Yes, being carried away by a story! That’s what I love. Glad I’m not the only one who feels 69 leaves something to be desired.

      Like

  2. kitt

    Spoiler on TFIOS
    I was completely caught off guard about the side trip to the author in TFIOS but in a good way. I thought I had a generally good idea about what the book was about, but got surprised in the carry along. No way would I have wanted that ruined.

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    • I loved the movie…and for once, I wished I had read the book before the movie, because I bawled like a baby. The book, I didn’t cry as much, but the pages are still a little tear stained. Both were great, and a little different from each other, so I was surprised as I read. Good story.

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