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The End First

Years ago I had a conversation with someone about books.

Let’s face it, at some point, any conversation I have turns to books. In this instance, the other person is a fellow bookaholic, so the subject came up quickly.

Somehow, we ended up discussing reading the end first. This reader is a peeker. She told me she always reads the end first.

This conversation happened years ago, and I still flash back to it whenever I start a new book.

How can you fully appreciate a book if you know the end before you even begin reading?

I have to admit, though, that in a moment of weakness, I’ve peeked at the end of a novel. In my defense, I’d already started reading the book and the suspense was killing me. I had to know if my favourite character survived and was happy.

Obviously, the author had done the suspense part of the job too well.

After, I regretted the decision. As you might expect, it sucked some of the excitement out of the rest of the story, which is I why I rarely give in to the urge to peek. Knowing the ending detracts from the reading experience.

I read suspense novels for the thrill they provide. Horror is supposed to be horrifying and not knowing who survives is part of the ride you paid for. Mysteries should be puzzling until the big reveal at the end.

It’s a compliment to the author when the reader can’t wait to reach the end . When that happens, lucky reader, you’ve got a page turner. The solution is to squeeze in more time for reading not turn to the end of the book. Waiting for the payoff is far more rewarding.

What do you think? To peek or not to peek? That is the question.


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