Turn to page 69…

This somewhat strange advice was given to me this week when I stumbled across a very interesting guardian article.  The article shares an idea originally proposed by Marshall McLuhan, that the simplest way to decide whether or not you will like a book is to read page 69.  For a communications major anything McLuhan says is gold.  When I glanced over at my nightstand and saw the below pile staring me down, I knew it was worth a shot. So, I have decided to tackle the 69th page of each of the six books currently on my nightstand.

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Northanger Abbey:

I have actually almost finished this book and must confess that I am a huge Jane Austen fan, but decided to look at the 69th page to see if I would have read it based solely on that.  Though I have found the rest of the book to be rather slow moving this was actually one of the most dramatic pages.  I would have definitely been drawn in to read the rest of the book from this one.  Score one for the test!

City of Dark Magic:

I didn’t really enjoy this book’s 69th page.  The writing seemed very choppy and from what little I gathered of the main character, she seemed rather annoying.  However, the last line did have a mention of a prince, so that could be exciting.


I am a huge Rainbow Rowell fan, and this book seems like one I will love.  I have never read a book made up of mostly email conversations, but from the little I saw, it seems really interesting. The characters seemed funny and engaging, even though I didn’t know exactly what was going on.

The Cove:

I’m not sure how I feel about this page.  It was definitely very compelling, and the writing was excellent, but I wasn’t sure if the book looked like I would want to dive into 300 pages of it.


While this book’s plot seems interesting, I’m not sure it’s for me.  I am not usually much of a sci-fi fan, and this page was devoted to a doctor studying a cyborg.  However, I have heard great things about this YA series, so I will probably still try it out.

Life After Life:

While this book’s description pulled me in right away, this page only served to put me off.  The writing was incredibly gruesome, the term “dead baby” being pulled out to describe jam, so I guess we’ll see how this one goes…

So, overall I guess we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not I like the books to determine exactly how effective this test is.  However, I do think it might be a good way to pare down my incredibly long “to be read” list.  So I will probably be giving it a try again, and I encourage you all to do the same.


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