To the people who read the ending of a book first: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? ;)
Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of reading a book? You’re reading a book to experience the adventure and the characters, right? It’s like going on hunt for buried treasures. Half the fun is the journey. If you just cut to finding the treasure, where’s the allure? Where’s the sense of excitement for the unknown? You’re missing a lot of important stuff that leads up to the big ending.
This discussion post stemmed from a conversation with my best friend’s ALT friend about TV shows and spoilers a couple of weeks ago. Depending on the show, we’re the type of people who like to fast forward through certain parts in an episode because we can’t handle the intensity of the scenes or handle the boringness of it. All those feelings that come from it are no good to our well-being. (I know, I’m fine with TV spoilers if it’s a show I don’t really care about that much.)
Somehow, the conversation turned to books. This friend mentioned that she reads the ending first and asked me if I do the same. Just imagine my face immediately turn into one of grumpy face’s with a mixture of major side-eye. My exact reaction was:
(Nick Miller has the best faces for the reactions I typically make.)
All my thoughts went from “that is awesome. We are similar. We are kindred spirits” to “nope, I cannot relate. I sort of don’t like you. Make your face go away.” I am in no way condemning you for reading the ending first. I get it. It gives people a peace of mind if they know what happens. But for me, I cannot relate.
Reasons I have heard from people on why they read the ending first:
- They don’t have to worry or be disappointed if something happens or doesn’t happens (like a character dying).
- They don’t have to waste their time with the book if the ending is crap.
- They’ll enjoy the book a lot more.
- They can relax, knowing what happens.
- They want to know if it’s a good book.
- They can’t handle the suspense.
- They are enhancing their reading experience.
A lot of these reasoning are extremely similar to each other and are totally valid. I can understand why readers would spoil themselves. Yeah, they don’t want to waste their time on a book that turns out to be absolute shit. They could devote themselves to reading other books worthy of their time.
Why I can’t read the ending first:
- Endings can be as misleading as the beginning. The book can be really awesome and have a shit ending. And it can be an absolutely horrible book with a good ending. Either way, judging the ending isn’t indicative of the greatness of the story.
- It ruins the book for me. I actually lose all desire to read the book. I think, “what’s the point? Why should I read the book when I know the ending?” The ending totally spoiled the experience of reading it. If it’s an ending I hate, I will most likely not read the book. All the excitement in me has been shooed away by spoilers.
- I won’t give the book a chance if I hate how the book ends. I refuse to force myself to read something that I know will make me angry or sad or frustrated. I think it sucks if I don’t give a book a fighting chance. A book can be good overall (if you take the ending out).
- I like experiencing the journey the characters take. If I read the ending first, I feel like I’m taking away a big part of the story.
- I would miss a lot of key information to be able to accurately judge the ending, and not see the character’s growth throughout the story. I don’t know how the character has gotten to this point in the book. Sure, I’ll read about it (if I decide to), but I lose so much of the surprise and the allure.
- The ending isn’t meant to be read first. If it was, don’t you think the author would’ve placed it at the beginning of the book?
- Why would you deprive yourself of experiencing all the emotions that comes from anticipating what happens next? You get to be surprised by the reveal, maybe angry or sad too. Not knowing what happens next make the reading experience fun. You don’t know when something’s going to make you incredibly angry (to the point you have to put down the book and rant on Twitter) or make your heart wrench that feels like it’s on the verge of being decimated because of all the tragedies that has occurred to the main character?
Remember, this discussion is in no way condemning any of you for reading the ending first. We all experience books differently, so continue to read however you want to. I guess good for you if you are able to do it? I won’t shun you, fyi. Just side eye you a bit. ;D
Tell me what you do! If you do read the ending of a book first, how much do you read? The last page? The last few pages? Why do you do it? For those who do not read the ending first, what prevents you from flipping to the end? Those “read ending first” people are a bunch of weirdoes, am I right? ;D