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Book Related Banter > Do you read the ending of books first?

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments I'm not sure if this is the best place for this, so, mods, feel free to move this if there is somewhere more appropriate.

I was just watching the Jennifer Byrnes Present Bragging Rights episode and was thinking about what one of the guests, Sandra Yates, said about reading the ending of books at the beginning - she wants to know whether it's worthwhile reading the book in the first place!

What do other people do? I have a feeling I went through a phase of reading the endings first when I was a young girl, but I don't do that now. I'm not sure why I stopped - but I kind of liked Sandra's idea for books that I'm struggling over. Although it could still be deceptive - the best part of The Book Thief, for me, was the ending, so if I'd read that first, I might have been wondering when the beginning would get better (although I was wondering that anyway!).


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate (ficthoughts) | 69 comments I try not to read the end first. I need to develop an emotional connection with the characters for the ending to truly satisfy me. So if I read it first because I know them... I probably would never decide to read any book :P


message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments Kate wrote: "I try not to read the end first. I need to develop an emotional connection with the characters for the ending to truly satisfy me. So if I read it first because I know them... I probably would neve..."

Yes, that's true - so possibly reading the (potentially good) ending of an otherwise not-so-good book would even deprive me of enjoying the ending…! However, I didn't feel as connected with the characters of The Book Thief as I would have like, but still enjoyed the ending, so I guess an emotional connection isn't always necessary...


message 4: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
I have done it once or twice in really scary books when I just need to know that someone is going to be alright. I don't really read the ending - just look for the characters name and see that they are still alive!!! I am not really good at suspense.


message 5: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68409 comments Mod
I never do - I always think it would spoil the story if I knew the end...why read the book then?? ;)


message 6: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (last edited Nov 23, 2013 12:42AM) (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
While that is very, very true - sometimes I just can't help it!


message 7: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments To discover the journey between the beginning and the end?? I normally feel the same about books - but maybe knowing the ending might make the difficult ones a bit easier to plough through? (If you are determined to plough through, which I normally am - it's got to be pretty bad before I give up - I'm always holding out hope that it might improve and if it does I'll miss out if I've given up!) Still not sure I could do it, though!!

I know there are people who still enjoy watching sporting matches they've recorded when they know the result, but that seems even more pointless, in my opinion!!


message 8: by Tamara (new)

Tamara I sometimes do, I can't help myself!
Sometimes it spoils the ending of the book, and sometimes it makes no sense so I have to keep reading anyway :)


message 9: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68409 comments Mod
Phrynne wrote: "While that is very, very true - sometimes I just can't help it!"

lol - fair enough:)


message 10: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
And it does mean that a kindle is better because it is harder to look at the last page than it is with a book.


message 11: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68409 comments Mod
Ha! Very true Phrynne!!


message 12: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 2001 comments OMG!!! Never. On the very rare ocassions I might accidentally see something on the last page of a book I'm reading I'm totally mortified and wish I could take it back!!!


message 13: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments It's interesting to hear people's different reactions! For my part, if I'm enjoying a book and find out something about the story further on, I'm just disappointed that it was revealed to me too early - I need to beware what I read on GR and when glancing over additional info at the back of the book - like discussion questions.


message 14: by Mish (new)

Mish | 3495 comments No I have never read an ending first. That would definitely spoil it and I don't think I could continue. Yet like Phrynne I have wondered if a character is still there and have read a few chapters ahead but not an ending.


message 15: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaelswensson) | 10592 comments I do have the temptation when i am reading an intriguing novel. But i keep thinking to myself "don't do it Michael, you will only spoil it". :D


message 16: by Patricia (new)

Patricia (pjaye) Never...not even tempted.
Most of the time I don't know even very much about the book I am going to read. Usually the genre and a very basic outline. I like to dive in and then discover the story as I go.
Sometimes I love it and sometimes I don't - but it's all a part of the adventure.


message 17: by B the BookAddict (new)

B the BookAddict (bthebookaddict) | 3432 comments Never, ever; I'd rather wait and ride along with the story to it's finale. Delayed gratification:)


message 18: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 313 comments Never! never gave it a thought . . . but . .


message 19: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
Geoff wrote: "Never! never gave it a thought . . . but . ."

:)


message 20: by Tango (new)

Tango | 290 comments I remember doing this as a child with my first Agatha Christie but I realised that it kind of ruined it for me. So I never do now and I hate it when people give it away. I agree that you need to feel an attachment to the characters for the ending to really resonate.


message 21: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (last edited Nov 23, 2013 05:51PM) (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
You are all very strong minded people :)


message 22: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments Great comment, Geoff!! Hope you aren't feeling led astray...?!


message 23: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 313 comments Who was that said that the best way to get rid of temptation was to give in to it . . . wasn't me honest!


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 1565 comments I wouldn't say I always read the ending first (or early on), but I often do and have no qualms about it. I don't really think it's any different from re-reading a book, which I also do from time to time.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

No I never do


message 26: by Marianne (last edited Nov 24, 2013 09:45AM) (new)

Marianne (cloggiedownunder) | 7992 comments I avoid looking at the ending because I want to experience the story as the author has intended me to. I want to let the characters & plot build up to the climax as crafted by the author. Sometimes I will see a character's name on the last page as I am checking how many pages it has: usually it's not a problem if I don't read the text. Recently, in the last of a series book, I did see the name of a character who was missing, most likely dead and wondered right through if they were going to find her, but as I hadn't read the text, it didn't ruin the ending for me.


message 27: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (last edited Nov 24, 2013 12:22PM) (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
Geoff wrote: "Who was that said that the best way to get rid of temptation was to give in to it . . . wasn't me honest!"

Maybe I should adopt that as my motto. I tend to give in to temptation rather easily.


message 28: by Dale (new)

Dale Harcombe | 5284 comments Brenda wrote: "I never do - I always think it would spoil the story if I knew the end...why read the book then?? ;)"

I'm with Brenda. Never... why spoil the fun? But wait for the unless.... unless the book is driving me crazy and I know I am not going to finish reading it,then I might. But sometimes I simply don't care enough to even do that.


message 29: by Angela (new)

Angela | 351 comments Sometimes I peak at the last page when I am about a third of the way through, mainly just to see if there are any characters mentioned that I haven't met yet or if a certain character is still around.

Or, as Dale mentioned, if the book is a bit of a dud and I am not that committed I'll see what happens later on...


message 30: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68409 comments Mod
Dale wrote: "Brenda wrote: "I never do - I always think it would spoil the story if I knew the end...why read the book then?? ;)"

I'm with Brenda. Never... why spoil the fun? But wait for the unless.... unless..."


Haha! If I'm not going to finish, I don't care enough (at all) to go to the end!!


Liam || Books 'n Beards (madbird) I've never done this, it seems like an awful idea. Defeats the purpose of any twists or character deaths or anything, surely.


message 32: by Angela (new)

Angela | 351 comments Liam wrote: "I've never done this, it seems like an awful idea. Defeats the purpose of any twists or character deaths or anything, surely."

Haha Liam you are too pure! You need to live a little ;)


message 33: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4298 comments I never quite read the whole ending but I sometimes gloss over it..Or I'll take a really quick look in the middle of the book to see if it still sounds interesting.

However, I will read the end of a book if I never quite liked it and wanted to see what happens.


message 34: by David (new)

David Menon (wwwgoodreadscomdavidmenon) | 230 comments No, I never read the end - it spoils it for me if I do.


message 35: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Higgins | 105 comments No, I don't read the ending before I start a book. I used to sometimes when I was in primary school (not sure why). But I usually ended up forgetting what happened once I started reading the book. The only reason I ever look at the last page is to see how many pages the book has, so I know how long it will take me to read it.


message 36: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Thistleton | 8 comments I read the beginning about the first chapter then the end and then the book - unless of course it is a talking book and I am forced to listen from beginning to end. I like to know what happens - of course e books are difficult in this regard as well.


message 37: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments Kelly wrote: "No, I don't read the ending before I start a book. I used to sometimes when I was in primary school (not sure why). But I usually ended up forgetting what happened once I started reading the book. ..."

I used to do that in primary school as well, Kelly! I'm also not sure why. And I don't remember why I stopped, either! Like you, I do still check out the number of pages, just out of curiosity, I think.


Liam || Books 'n Beards (madbird) Angela wrote: "Liam wrote: "I've never done this, it seems like an awful idea. Defeats the purpose of any twists or character deaths or anything, surely."

Haha Liam you are too pure! You need to live a little ;)"


By ruining the end of a book? No thanks!


message 39: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68409 comments Mod
I can't see a lot of point in reading the book at all, if you know the ending!!! But that's just me:)


Liam || Books 'n Beards (madbird) Brenda wrote: "I can't see a lot of point in reading the book at all, if you know the ending!!! But that's just me:)"

Exactly!


message 41: by Angela (new)

Angela | 351 comments I just want to throw a question out there - how much does everyone read when they do read the ending first? I myself scan like the tenth page from the back, but do people read whole chapters? Just the last page?


message 42: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 1565 comments Angela wrote: "I just want to throw a question out there - how much does everyone read when they do read the ending first? I myself scan like the tenth page from the back, but do people read whole chapters? Just ..."

Just the last 1-2 pages


message 43: by Phrynne, Series Queen! (new)

Phrynne | 11004 comments Mod
I don't actually READ any of it. Just glance sometimes if I want to see who survives to the end. ( I read a lot of thrillers and there is often some doubt on this)


message 44: by Binari (new)

Binari | 63 comments Nah I never read the end of the book unless I know Im never going to finish the book and I dont actually like the book.


message 45: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 2001 comments Brenda wrote: "I can't see a lot of point in reading the book at all, if you know the ending!!! But that's just me:)"

Totally agree Brenda. :)


message 46: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 3449 comments While I don't read the end of books until the author leads me there (not now, anyway), I can totally understand reading a book while knowing the ending - I love to re-read some of my favourite books from time to time. I don't own many books that I wouldn't happily re-read (mostly because I don't usually buy books unless I've read them previously, read the author previously or they've come highly recommended). If I make a mistake and buy a book that I'm not all that keen on, then that's one book I'm more than happy to give away!


message 47: by LauraW (last edited Dec 04, 2013 11:19AM) (new)

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 23 comments I often read the end of the book ahead of time, especially if the book might have some negative outcomes. If I don't, reading the book makes me too anxious and I can't read it at all. I understand why others don't do it, but, for me, I can't read scary books at all, unless I have an idea of the outcome.

This is also why I enjoy re-reading some of the books I love. The anxiety level is lower and I can actually pay attention to nuances of the story - character descriptions, clues to plot details, setting, the writer's craft, etc.

And, to answer Angela's question: I read enough so that I have an idea of the outcome. Enough so that I am not so anxious about it and I can pay attention to how the author gets there.


message 48: by Angela (new)

Angela | 351 comments Phrynne wrote: "I don't actually READ any of it. Just glance sometimes if I want to see who survives to the end. ( I read a lot of thrillers and there is often some doubt on this)"

I think this is my method too Phrynne


message 49: by Angela (last edited Dec 04, 2013 02:04PM) (new)

Angela | 351 comments LauraW wrote: "I often read the end of the book ahead of time, especially if the book might have some negative outcomes. If I don't, reading the book makes me too anxious and I can't read it at all. I understan..."

I can definately understand (with scary books) how this might help. Appreciating the writing is the main point rather than feeling tense while you are reading, which I am guessing could hinder the enjoyment...


message 50: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68409 comments Mod
LauraW wrote: "I often read the end of the book ahead of time, especially if the book might have some negative outcomes. If I don't, reading the book makes me too anxious and I can't read it at all. I understan..."

Well then, I guess my question would be - why do you read scary books/books you know will make you anxious - then? Wouldn't it be better for your own peace of mind to give them a wide berth? Just curious:)


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