All too often in a bookshop, I find it impossible to pick a book. There’s so many to choose from that if you haven’t gone in to the shop with a particular book in mind, it’s almost impossible to make only one choice. Inevitably, you will choose based on a combination of the cover, and/or the blurb, because it is near impossible to not do so. The concept of the mystery book removes the factor of the cover from the decision making process, and in doing so makes it surprisingly easier.
A few months ago I saw a post on instagram of a bookshop filled entirely with books wrapped in brown paper packages, with only descriptions of the content on the outside. I thought it was a good idea, but it seemed like a one-off sort of thing- it was creative and it was interesting, but didn’t appear as if it would be widely applied. To my surprise, while wandering around a station market, I found a stall named Myriad Market selling just that:
As soon as I saw one I knew I’d have to get one- and for only £2 picked up this novel, which had an even more limited synopsis on the package than those I had originally seen. I knew just based on this that I would not have read the book before, and decided it was time to try something new. Inside was Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill, which I now plan to read over the summer holidays:
In addition to the single novel packages (pre-loved for £2 and new for £3) you could also purchase a mystery box, which contained two books, two tea bags, and a book mark, normally priced at around £7, although in this case the box was on sale for only £6:
I was happily surprised with both purchases, and felt the concept worked very well- it is not until you only have a small blurb to look at that you realise how much you did once rely upon the cover to help you choose a book, or how unnecessary one really is to that decision.