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.


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

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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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