The end before the beginning
I read somewhere — possibly multiple somewheres — that there are people in this world who skip ahead and read the ending of a book before they finish the whole thing. Some of them finish the book regardless of the end; some of them don’t finish it if they don’t like the ending. But all of them are breaking one of my cardinal rules — one reads a book in the order it’s presented.
Maybe this is anal of me. Maybe I would benefit from a good end-before-the-beginning scenario once in a while. But isn’t the whole point of a book to work your way through the story plot point by plot point? Rereading, obviously, is different in that you know the ending while you are still working your way through the middle, allowing you to see how exactly the plot reaches its terminal point. While that’s a valuable experience, certainly, I would never sacrifice my first virgin read of a new book just so I could pay closer attention to the structure.
What about you? Are you an end-before-the-beginning person? Or do you like to take things in order, like me?
Entry filed under: Musings and Essays.