Booking Through Thursday: Cheat

Do you cheat and peek at the ends of books? (Come on, be honest.)

To be wholly honest, I have done this in the past, usually at midnight release parties—I glanced sidelong at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and kept cackling out the astoundingly vague ending to Breaking Dawn on the way out to the car. (We were there for kicks and giggles; we were Team Bella Dies and Team Mike.)

But now? I try not to. It ruins the tension; I only do it if I have to know if a character survives or not or the setting changes drastically or not, and I really try to make them scarce. The author wrote the book in a certain order for a reason—I’d rather let things unravel at its own speed. (Unless my favorite character is in a dire situation.)

12 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Cheat

  1. I think the important part to note is that the author did write something in a specific order for a specific reason and that’s where peeking becomes like cheating and I think it disrupts a flow. Like you said things need to “unravel at its own speed” and it’s so true with most books.

  2. I’ve cheated a couple times, mostly when I wanted to know if a character was going to die (or have something horrible happen to them). I’m not good with tension!

    I also tend to flip to the back of a book if I don’t want to FINISH the book for some reason, but still want to know how a certain plotline finished. This tends to happen when I hate the characters/writing/etc but like the plot (or parts of the plot).

  3. I cheat. There I said it. 🙂 I’ve always read the ending first ever since I was a kid and I still do it today. When I try not to, I get anxious and then distracted. I usually end up giving in and flipping to the end. Oddly, it never ruins the tension for me.

  4. In high school, I did it all the time. I would actually read the last page, and only the last page, before reading everything else. I’d wait a little while, then read the book again. Many times, the last page needed a little context to make sense.

    If I look at the last page of a book now, it’s because I flip through the pages. I don’t do this to read the book, but to get an idea of the visual presentation, so I can read and process the text faster. A great example is The Wise Man’s Fear. I just got it, but there’s no way I’m going to look at the last page before reading the 900+ pages before it.

  5. You read the end of Deathly Hallows? GIRL. I am the end-reading advocate to end all end-reading advocates, and I didn’t even read the end of Deathly Hallows. (I did glance at the end of Half-Blood Prince, but only very briefly, and only because I was worried they were going to kill Ginny.)

  6. Looking ahead is either a sign of boredom on my part or unbearable suspense regarding a particular plot element. I rarely look at the very end – but I do look ahead.

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