Thursday, October 13, 2016

                                             Confessions of an END READER. 
                                                    By Kathleen Lawless

My secret is out.  I'm an end reader!
It's not something I'm proud of or ashamed of, but I do wonder if I'm alone out there or if there is a secret society of 'us'.

Let me be clear.  I don't start by reading the end of the book.  I start at the beginning like every obedient reader.  I progress along nicely taking note of the first turning point, the pinch, and the next turning point.  And so along I read, through the middle and eventually heading full tilt for the black moment.

Somewhere in there is where I ultimately lapse.  It's not as if I'm not enjoying the book with its clever pacing and multi-dimensional characters.  It's just that I have to know how it ends.  And I have to know now.

I can't even say knowing the end of the book ruins it for me.  In fact it enhances the experience as I am now on the lookout for clever twists and other writerly skills designed to draw the ending to a satisfying conclusion.

Is it part of studying the author's techniques?  Perhaps.  Is it because I'm impatient?  Definitely.  Have I ever been sorry I skipped ahead?  A time or two.  Generally it tends to be the way I read and the way I write, that mad gallop to the finish line. 

As long as people are reading our work, I don't care how they go about it.  The worst scenario would be if someone didn't care enough about the book to read the end.

8 comments:

  1. Sorry Kath...I never read the end ahead of time. But I rush through the last quarter to get there!

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  2. Guilty. I always read the end of the book, usually about the time I get to the middle. If I'm not enjoying the book, I read the ending after the first chapter and decide if it's worth reading the middle. I try not to do this in mysteries, but . . . I learned the habit from my mother if that's an excuse.

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  3. Guilty. Not always (unless I'm not going to finish the book anyway), but often enough I kind of squirm about it. Fun post, Kathleen.

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  4. Guilty...sometimes. If the book isn't really keeping my interest, I've been known to fast forward to the end to see if the ending is good enough to slog through the rest.

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  5. I'm amazed over end readers. I've never, ever done this. I would feel that I was cheating myself of the anticipation. Nice post, Kathleen.

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