Why I Usually Don’t Read Excerpts



a passage or quotation taken or selected from a book, document, film, or the like; extract.
verb (used with object)


to take or select (a passage) from a book, film, or the like; extract.


to take or select passages from (a book, film, or the like); abridge by choosing representative sections.
Excerpts are not an uncommon thing in the bookish online world. These days I often see excerpts offered of books on Netgalley or publishers offer up the first few chapters of an upcoming release. I understand why they do it. They want people to be curious, to see that start of the book and crave the book. To pre order the book or if they come across it in a book store to remember it from the excerpts and buy it. It creates buzz in a different way from reviews. Sometimes a book will have the first chapter of the next book in the series or a completely different kind of book in the back as well.


I never read excerpts. Well not never. Earlier this year I read the excerpt or preview of Sightwitch. I had requested it on Netgalley, thinking it was the full book (and I still swear that the first time I saw it it did not say preview excerpt). It turned out to be the first 100 pages of the book. Hundred! I will tell you that this prequel only has 200 pages in the kindle edition. So this preview excerpt, excerpt meaning a passage or a quatation selected from a book, was half of the entire book.  I don’t get that? Anyway that was my bout of frustration of the day.
As said I rarely read excerpts and below I will share with you a few reasons as to why that is.

Waiting Time

Excerpts are often shared a bit before the release of a book. Sometimes there can even be a few months between the sharing of the excerpt and the actual release of the full book. I can be a very patient person. With books and stories? Not so much. I.Need.It.Now! If I don’t read the excerpts I’ll still want to read it as soon but at least I haven’t been teased already.

Stuck With Half a Story

In the case of the above mentioned Sigthwitch I am now stuck with half a story. The first half of it also did very little for me. While where it ended was somewhat of interest, the chance of me buying this book has been reduced to zero. I lost all interest in it. The next half might be super amazing and might redeem the first half completely, but I will never know because this first half was boring. And since I read it so far in advance there is no way that is not going to be stuck in my head forever. The taste of dissapointment.

Chapter samples I have received at events in the past.


But when you do like the excerpt you are still stuck with half or a portion of a story. When you are excited it is hard to contain your curiousity. It can create high expectations for the rest of the book. That the book might not be able to meet after it has been build up in someone’s head for weeks or months. I am certain that will be the case for me with a lot of them.

Added to that is that the time might give me plenty of time to start creating my own ideas about how the story will go. Which might not happen in the book or not the way that I wanted. I think it would possibly taint my excitement of the book.

My Wallet

If I do read an excerpt to see whether or not I would like a book, there is the chance I will want to buy the book. Which will result in me spending money. My wallet will weep. My husband will weep even harder. I do not need excerpts as an extra excuse to buy books okay. I already have all of you. Kidding. Sort of.

I’d just rather not know anything until I can read the full book.

Do you read excerpts? What has your experience been with them?


18 thoughts on “Why I Usually Don’t Read Excerpts

  1. Ugh SAME! I feel you. The only time I have ever read excerpts was when they let you get the sample from Amazon to see if you want to buy it- because then I can read it immediately! But otherwise, NOPE. I have seen a lot of people getting tricked into those samplers on Netgalley and such. And a lot of times you have to request them still- who would ever imagine you’d have to request a SAMPLE!? Yeah, I could not agree with you more basically!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SAME, I also requested Sightwitch on Netgalley and was 100% sure it didn’t say that it was an excerpt!!!

    I never really read excerpt, like ever if I can help it. If I loved it i’m stuck with only half the story and then you have to wait AGESSS (well okay, maybe not all the time) for the full book released then i’m always like, do I skip to the bit i was on or just read it all again!!

    Basically, I don’t read them either 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?

      Haha oh so true! Especially with excerpts like sightwitch. Like I already read the first 100. Do I skip over them if I do end up reading the book at some point?


  3. There’s a very good chance that it didn’t say preview excerpt when you requested it. I’ve noticed that happens, and they only add it after the fact when people complain and/or start down-rating it on NetGalley. That’s what happened with Queens of Innis Lear, and after hundreds of people had downloaded it and a bunch complained, they slapped on the fact that it was just an “excerpt” (though, it was a significant portion of the book).

    I agree with you 100% on not reading excerpts. Very little bothers me more than reading something I really like and then having to wait a year for it. By which point, I’ve probably already forgotten it and shelved it somewhere under bitter disappointment and dejection. There are times I’ve made exceptions, though. Like I read an excerpt of Calamity by Brandon Sanderson because I was already so excited and geared up for it and had preordered it that it wasn’t like it was going to make me more excited at that point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I saw that happen with Queens of Innis Lear as well on twitter yeah!

      Yup. Especially skip the ones that have an excerpt of the next book at the end where it still needs to be published. Like no. I do not require these extras.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree w/ you that I’d rather just wait until I can read the full book. Excerpts are usually frustrating to me because I spend time reading, then I have to wait, then I end up having to reread what I already read to remember it properly again, so that time I spent reading it the first time could’ve been spent on something else! I do find excerpts useful, however, if I’m on the fence about a book and want to see if I like the writing style or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excerpts can be pretty useful for that yeah which is why I understand why they are offered on Amazon where you can read a sample to see if you want to buy it or not.


  5. Vroeger deed ik dat wel eens maar vermits die voorstukjes het wachten alleen maar moeilijker leken te maken ben ik er mee gestopt. Bij sommige boeken is het wachten al moeilijk genoeg zonder dat ik er nog eens een schepje bovenop ga doen.

    Liked by 1 person

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