Thursday, June 17, 2010


posted by Ruby Johnson

What is the page 69 and page 99 test?

Dust jackets, blurbs, shout lines, critics' and authors’ commendations ("quote whores", as they are called in the video/DVD business) all compete for the attention of the browsing reader. Marshall Zeringue recommends ignoring the hucksters' shouts and,instead, applying  the McLuhan test.

Marshall McLuhan, the guru of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962), recommended that the browser open the book to page 69 of any book and read it. If they like that page, then they should buy the book.

Ford Madox Ford says to “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you."

Marshall Zeringue has two blogs- one at and another at where numerous books are tested with excerpts from page 69 or 99.

Good book or bad book? Take the test and you decide.

1 comment:

Caroline Clemmons said...

I tried this with my latest book. First time I've heard of either of these tests, but pretty clever.

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