Oh, I used to. All the time. When I'd come home from purchasing my newest read, I'd start the first few pages to get an idea of who was in the story. Then "oops," the book would flip over and what'd'ya know? The ending pages would be right there. In front of my face. My thumb just accidentally landed in the center of the page because, you know, I had to make sure the book didn't fall completely to the floor. An innocent blunder. (Hey, I had to say something to justify this guilty-slip).
Since I was on the page anyway, I'd read a little of the ending. The last line. Maybe the last couple of paragraphs. If it was really good, or I was completely intrigued, I'd read the entire last page! Oh man, I cannot believe I owned up to that one. But no more than the last page. Honest. Why? I knew the book would have a happily ever after; I knew the hero and heroine would end up together, so none of these reasons could spoil the book. *sigh* I really don't know why I'd read the ending first. To this day, I don't. A force of habit?
That was then. Now we are in the age of e-readers. Endings are not so accidentally come-upon anymore. Yes, you can slip to the end, but it takes a little more work and ingenuity to, say, let your fingers slip to the menu tab and accidentally tap the "go to" button and oops, I was mentally out-of-it when my fingers told the e-reader to jump to the last page of the book.
See, not so get-away-able. At least, I've not been able to pull it off successfully yet. All told, I'm kinda glad, too. You see, the other day I pulled out a paperback romance I'd bought several months ago. I'd read perhaps a third of the book, happily turning page after page, when my old-habit fingers did their slip up and wham - I'm staring at the last page of the book. I struggled. Of course, like the proverbial cat, my curiosity got the better of me and I read. But only the last sentence. Good. *sigh* Then I read the sentence before that one. *ooh boy* My curiosity shoots up because I want to know what prompted this sentence, so I read the one before that.
I went too far!!
For the first time in my rather long reading life, I set the book down. I have absolutely no interest in reading the story any more and it saddens me because I had been enjoying the tale. What happened? That third-from-the-last-line did indeed tell me how the story ended, which I expected, but it also answered the question that had been teasing me throughout the story I'd read so far. In reading the ending, I found my answer and it killed my interest in the teasing clues.
Is this the authors fault? Absolutely not. The blame is entirely my own. Now, if I had this story on one of my e-readers, I would have finished the story in its entirety. Oh well, I've learned my lesson. From now on, when I pick up a print book, I'll have to rubber band and staple and tape and otherwise weld the ending closed until I come to that conclusion in due course, by reading the book in it's proper order.
What about you? Do you peek at the endings and does this effect how you read the rest of the book? And if you have an e-reader, have you noticed a difference in your read-the-endings-first habit?
This is day two of the With Love Valentine's Day Blog Hop. Click on the button to go to the event site where you can scroll through all the authors participating. All comments to my blog during the days of the blog hop (with email addy's so I can notify you) will be put in a drawing for a fabulous prize of one PDF copy e-book of the winners choice from my back list and one KamaSutra EroStick in strawberry flavor from Lucy's Love Shop. Further details of the my contest are found by clicking here.
Thank you for visiting and don't forget to comment!!
I don't sneak peaks :) Then again, I read so quickly it doesn'tmatter...ReplyDelete
hahaha. Good for you! And thanks for stopping by!ReplyDelete
Nice post, Ayla. I never read the ending. Not because I am noble or have any willpower, but because I adore watching the tale develop. I don't even like to fill in the last part of my working outline when I write because I don't want to know how it ends until the characters tell me. I write HEA so I know how it will end, but getting there is half the fun. I would be like you and not be able to finish the book if I had read ahead. See another good reason to buy eBooks.ReplyDelete
That's right, Becca. And even though I do periodically peek, as I mention in my blog, I'm just like you when I write. I know it'll be HEA/HEFN, but the ending comes in due time - after the characters and I hash it out. :)Delete
I have never read the ending first. I have read through a book so fast that I missed key things lol Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Valentine's Day.ReplyDelete
Kaylyn, this is the first I've heard of this - reading so fast you missed a key point. *g* That is some speed reading! Although, I once read a book where the love scene was so forgettable, when the characters mentioned it a chapter later, I had to go back because I couldn't even remember it happening! Thanks for stopping by!Delete
I always peek at the last page first as Billy Crystal says in When Harry met Sally - Just in case I die before I finish I know how it ends... also in re-reads I always find things I missed the first time around - I swear sometimes books add extra words when I am not looking.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about re-reads! I love going back to a book I've read - there IS always something new to discover. Hey - plot bunny here - Thanks! :DReplyDelete
I never peek at the ending. I always just wait to get tho the end. However, there are many books that I have read multiple times, but there is always something that you would not have paid as much attention to the first time you read a book, or that you have forgotten if it was a long time since reading.ReplyDelete
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com
Thanks, June. Now everyone is making me feel bad. I know there those out there who do peek. :) When I really think about it, I guess I tend to peek more if I'm not as interested in the story in the first place. Boredom would lead me to do this naughty. The books I've read over and over again are like coming back to visit wonderful friends and their endings don't matter. Why worry about an ending, after all, if you know you'll be back. Thanks again for your post!Delete
I am bad for peeking at the end, I read about half ways through, then I have to find out what happened, but I always end up reading the whole book, even though I know what happened.ReplyDelete
skpetal at hotmail dot com
Hi, Jean. Woo-hoo. I knew I wasn't the only one! :) It IS tempting, isn't it, to want to see those last lines. Thanks a bunch for stopping by!ReplyDelete