Cheaters

Booking Through Thursday asks:

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

No!! Never ever ever! Even with books where it doesn’t much matter if I read in order (anthologies, short story collections, some nonfiction), I invariably read them cover to cover.

When I was eleven or twelve I read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Let me set the scene: I was (am) blonde, tall and chubby, lying in front of the heater (my favorite spot for reading) with my head on the floor and my legs up the wall. (Why isn’t that pose as comfortable as it used to be?) I had gotten through most of the book, completely enthralled, but then I got very, very anxious about how it was going to end. I set the book down, my mind roiling with all of the HORRIBLE possibilities. My heart constricted, my breaths were shallow. I couldn’t stand to read the last fifty pages without knowing. I couldn’t. I WOULD DIE.

So I picked the book back up and turned to the last few pages. I read them. I cried. I put the book back down and never picked it back up. I don’t actually remember what happened, though I remember being confused and not understanding how what happened could have happened. But even my confusion wasn’t enough to get me to read the fifty pages I had skipped. And that’s the reason I don’t read the end of books until I’ve read what comes before. Because it sucks. (Interestingly, I’m not particularly spoiler-phobic. I suppose that that is because there is a big difference for me between knowing what happens and actually reading the words that the author has chosen.)

And maybe it’s time, at long last, that I pick Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry back up. (Though maybe not, I’m still pretty traumatized!)

What about ya’ll? Do you ever peek ahead?

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