The beginnings of the world’s best books! What do they show us?
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . .”
Gone With the Wind by Margret Mitchell
“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were”
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife”
The Book Thief by Markus Zusask
“First the colors.
Then the humans.
That’s usually how I see things.
Or at least, how I try.”
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”
I think you get the idea! The first page and even first sentence are the most important part of a good novel!
The point of this is to explain something that my Aunt Alice told me about a few years ago- something that has helped me make the right book choices in the years that followed. I gave it a name- the first page rule. It means when you pick up a book, you read the first page. If you unknowingly turn the page and continue reading, then you should read the book! But if you are bored- if you would rather check out how you need a manicure or that other inviting book staring at you from over there- then put it down.
This has saved me from reading books I have no interest in ever since she told me that! I suggest you do the same, it is a very useful technique when choosing one book from a well stocked bookstore! Also, if you are a writer, you might want to think about this. Would someone want to continue reading after the first page? Is there too much detail? Not enough? Now, what do I know, because I am not a writer, at least not yet. But I know one thing I am, and that’s a reader.
If you try this, let me know what you think!