How do you read?

How do you read?

Do you start at the beginning and read straight through a book, with no skipping ahead at all? Do you flip through a book, stopping here and there to skim a few pages before you start reading in earnest? Or do you immediately go to the very last page to see how the book ends?

Me? Well, I admit that I tend to fall into that last category. I like a little sneak peak at the end of the book for a variety of reasons.

Snow Like AshesMost of the time, I just want to see how many pages a book is, so I can estimate what kind of time commitment I’m making. I especially tend to do this with epic fantasy books, simply because they tend to be longer than books in other genres.

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch and The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch are some of the many fantasy books where I have looked to see how long they were. Don’t get me wrong. Epic fantasy is one of my favorite things to read, but sometimes I just don’t have time to read several hundred pages over a weekend. I tend to read fantasy books when I have a lighter schedule and can really immerse myself in the book, story, and world building.

Other times, I will flip to the back of the book to see if there is a cliffhanger, especially if I know that the book is the first in a trilogy. I don’t mind story threads continuing on into the next book, but I’m not a fan of huge, epic cliffhangers where every single character is in mortal danger, especially if I have to wait months or even years for the next book in the series. If I see that a book does have a massive cliffhanger, then I am likely to put it back on the shelf and wait until the next book is out before I read the first one in the series.

While I’m looking at the back of the book for page counts and cliffhangers, I usually find myself reading a paragraph or two … or three or four …

And sometimes, I end up spoiling the whole book for myself. Um … whoops … my bad …

It’s happened more than once, especially when it comes to mysteries and thrillers where the killer is revealed on the very last page. That’s happened enough times now that I have been cutting down on my sneak peaks. Just a quick glance at the page count, and I am back to the beginning to start reading straight through.

What about you guys? Do you look at the end of a book before you get there? Why or why not?

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8 Responses to How do you read?

  1. I don’t ever look at the end. I’m a linear girl πŸ™‚

    But I have recently found myself skipping descriptions and sex scenes when I read. It’s a lesson to me when I do my own writing. I think it was Elmore Leonard who said it was better to not write the bits that readers skip, LOL, and I try to do that. Especially with the book I’m writing now, which is quite long, anyway. No padding is required πŸ™‚

  2. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Jennifer,

    I’ll read a few pages to see if I like the voice, then read in earnest. If I see a cliffhanger developing, or a plot twist that includes killing off the character I care about, I’ll skip ahead to check. I’ve been bitten before, investing time in a book, only to be disappointed. I totally agree about cliffhangers. If I stay up too late to finish a book, I do want a real ending, lol.

  3. Barbara Elness says:

    I never peek, I like to be surprised by not knowing what is going to happen at the end. I have to read from beginning to end. πŸ˜€

  4. Charlie says:

    I start at the beginning and read (actually listen) straight through a book. If it is a series, I avoid reading the book description so that the book is fully new to me. Of course, if it is a series I’m thinking of starting, I will read the first book’s description. haha

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