Reading Habits

Avidbookreader asks, is it worth it to skip to the end of a book or read the last page/chapter first? I can’t say if it’s truly worth it or not, but I am a habitual skip-to-the-end reader. My usual custom is to read the first chapter (and prologue, if there is one), then go to the end and read the last few pages, then go back and read everything in between.

For me, the true pleasure in reading a good book is not reaching the destination, but the journey it takes to get there. Even in genres such as suspense or mystery that depend on a grand reveal near the end, knowing in advance that it’s Mrs. Peacock in the conservatory with a candlestick who committed the murder doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the unfolding story at all. In fact, I’d argue the opposite, because knowing how the story wraps up lets me look for clues as to how that happens, and concentrate on how the author develops the story.

I don’t know how, where, or when I picked up this habit. I first became aware of it about 10 years ago, when I was reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I had loved the first half of the book, but the 2nd half, after the Shechemites are killed and Dinah flees to Egypt, didn’t hold up to the promise of the beginning, and my interest quickly waned. Finally, in desperation, I skipped to the end and read the final chapter, then shelved the book. The Red Tent is, to my knowledge, the first book I never managed to finish reading.

There’ve been more books since then that I never got through, though it always pains me to leave a book unfinished. I have no guilt about skipping to the end, though.

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About Laura

Former single parent adjusting to an empty nest, moving back in with my parents, and returning to the workforce. Student of medieval history, fandom dabbler, and perspiring writer.
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