I love the rush that accompanies buying a new book. The browsing and rummaging that precedes the purchase. The quiet and considered contemplation as one searches the shelves in the hope of finding a reading gem. Eventually I reach out and pluck a volume from the collection. I relish the opportunity to turn the book over in my hands and savour the words. I scan the cover thoroughly taking in the elements of the page before turning the book over, anticipating the blurb. If it’s an author with whom I am unfamiliar, I want to get to know them. I need for us to be more acquainted, the author and I. So, I open the book to see if the dust cover reveals information about this potential new friend. I am provided with the background information I seek. Pleased to meet you I think...
Today, while visiting Williamstown I found a book by John Boyne, an Irish writer and author of the ‘Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ .The book is titled, ‘Noah Barleywater Runs Away’ The word ‘runs’ is printed in slightly bolder text on the cover and I wonder if this is significant. Am I meant to notice this small detail? The blurb is a repeat of the book’s opening lead. I find it most engaging. A lead must draw the reader in; capture and hold their attention. It may be written in such a way as to raise questions or heighten curiosity. John Boyne arouses such responses when I read,
‘Noah Barleywater left home in the early morning, before the sun rose, before the dogs woke, before the dew stopped falling on the fields.’
I am struck by how
Boyne establishes a sense of time, as well as his effective use of repetition. I have pressing questions such as, Why is Noah leaving home? Where is he going? The desire to read on, to find out, to discover is already firmly established within me as a reader. John Boyne, has drawn me in. He has my attention. The book is bought.