turning the page

My mother was a fast reader, and a slightly odd one. Ever since she was a girl, she had read the end of a book first because she couldn’t wait to learn how things turned out. I realized, when I started writing a book about our book club, that, in a way, she’d already read the end of it — when you have pancreatic cancer that’s been diagnosed after it has spread, you can be fairly certain of what fate has in store.

WILL SCHWALBE

I have to admit that I often do the same thing myself – read the end of a book shortly after starting it (and not because I think I am about to be hit by a bus). It doesn’t ruin the reading for me at all.

In fact, if I am really absorbed in a book, it slows down my reading pace if I know the ending, and I enjoy the book far more. If I didn’t read the ending I would race through the book, maybe missing important, or enjoyable sections in my quest to “know”. There is also nothing worse, to me, than racing through a book that I really enjoy, for I am so often filled with such regret that I have finished the book that I am bereft with the loss.

Okay, I know some of you are now thinking “oh FD get a life – or another book!”, but how often have you really enjoyed a book so much that you have wanted to start reading another one exactly the same, right away? Except, it is not that easy is it? Often even the same author doesn’t satisfy that hunger. I’m not so silly now, am I?

It is like eating a three course meal just to get to dessert, when if I just ate the dessert I might skip one of the other courses and therefore save the kilojoules. Think about it. I am going to eat the dessert no matter what, but if I consume more food than I need to get to it, doesn’t it make more sense just to eat the dessert and maybe lower my meal intake? Of course the dessert would be fruit and carrot sticks on a bed of lettuce so I would be getting a fruit and veg, no high sugar intake, in say, chocolate cake. Work with me here people.

We don’t always have to do things the way they are always done, just because they are always done that way. (Still with me?) Thinking outside the square is what got us the circle. Eating dessert first may make me slimmer. Reading the end of the book before the middle helps me to appreciate the entire book and the reading process.

I rest my case.

[hello? Was that a tumbleweed blowing by? I am sure I can hear a dog barking in the distance…hello? Did you read the end of my post and go out for dessert? No one appreciates genius…]

11 thoughts on “turning the page

  1. Awesome post FD! I too, tend to read the end of a book first or watch the end of a movie first, and might even have just the dessert for dinner and skip the dinner altogether. I do it though, not so much so that I can slow down and enjoy the rest of any of it, but simply because I am at an age that I CAN! It is, for me, a form of rebellion. I did things because I had to, or because that was the way they were supposed to be done all of my life. I can do them however or whenever I want to anymore and I find myself giggling like a little girl while I do it.

    By the way, I think we all most certainly appreciate the genius of the great Flamingo Dancer!

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  2. Sorry. Never done that. Maybe it’s because I’m still so young HAHAHA not.
    I did know a guy who spent a lot of time ripping the last page out of library fiction books. Nutter

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  3. I always read the end if there’s an animal invlved in the story. I can’t read a book if I’m worrying that the animal in it might die, it’s better if I’m prepared. I don’t bother usually though as I tricked myself doing that once, I read the end and thought the boy was still alive but really he was dead and it was his ghost so it was a shock when I realised he was really dead.

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  4. lol – I never read the end first, I like the journey. And, if a book is good, I never want to start another at the same time – I want to enjoy the one I’m reading then progress to the next one.

    But I often eat dessert first… because I figure I’m going to eat it even if I’m already full. Having it first at least allows me to stop eating when I’m full instead of plowing through to nauseous. Or it would if I stopped anymore.

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  5. I read the end of a book a lot. If the story is too confusing, it helps to know where it’s going. If it’s borderline good/sucky, it’s helpful to know if the ending is acceptable as to whether or not I’m going to keep wasting my time with it.

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