The Page 69 Test

How to judge a book? By its cover? By what other people say? By the first few paragraphs?

There are those who advocate a different approach – reading Page 69. Or indeed, asking the author to read and comment on it themselves.

I’ve just been asked for some thoughts on Caveat Emptor – slightly alarming when it turned out that, being the start of a chapter, the page in question only offered 19 lines to work with. But it seemed a shame to cheat, and in the end I enjoyed playing the game. The results  – along with those of a host of other writers – can be found over at The Page 69 Test.


2 thoughts on “The Page 69 Test

  1. When I’m still in serious doubt about reading or buying a book, after looking at the outside of it, my normal approach is to read the beginning, read the end, and glance at the middle, which gives me some idea of what I’m in for.

    As I’m a habitual rereader of books, I don’t place a high value on being surprised by the plot.

  2. Ah, and here is the bit that sums it ALL up: “And as usual, when Tilla tells him the truth, he will wish he didn’t know.” This is one of my favorite aspects of their relationship. In my feeble experience, anyway, this is a very real dynamic in spousal relationships and is part of what makes Ruso and Tilla really live for me. I love what it says about Tilla (she _will_ say it) and Ruso (he will _not_ want to hear it.)

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