As I have mentioned numerous times before, I am an avid bookcrosser and participate in various bookcrossing activities. Some of these activities include book-rings and book-rays, rabcks*, book boxes (physical and virtual), and book challenges.
The one in particular that I am referring to this time is a (physical) book box. Book boxes generally contain twenty or more books that can be swapped out. Once the person receives the box, he/she picks and chooses from the box and replaces an equal number of books before sending it on to the next person on the list.
Recently I received a Wrap-It-Up book box, and this box works the same except that it contains books all wrapped up with only the first line of the book on the outside to determine if the person wants to choose it. It makes for intriguing and sometimes surprising choices because a person is never sure what the book is until it is unwrapped. What I've found over time with various Wrap-It-Up book boxes is that first lines matter.
I suppose all writers realize this, or they should. On the other hand, I have often been disappointed by the results based on the first line only. The written words following the first line don't measure up to an incredible first line, and they must if the reader is to continue.
This book box was truly a mixed bag, and from it, I chose a graphic novel, a book of Dave Barry's humor, three novels of various genres, and the Scottish play. I sent on six novels of various genres as replacements and can't wait to see how these first lines are perceived.
But, regardless, what definitely should be taken away from this is:
First lines matter!
*rabck--Random Acts of BookCrossing Kindness, which is doing a kindness to another bookcrosser without reason or expectation of return
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Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association