Has the read ahead curse been broken?

I like to read the last page of a book. Sometimes, I do this before I start a book, but most times, I read the last page before the end of the first chapter. Sometimes I read even more than the last page. You see, I like to know how things are going to turn out. I’m not good with spoilers. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll all agree. Some people tell me this habit ruins the story, but for me, that isn’t the case. I like to see how an author is going to get me there. It not how it ends, it’s the journey to the ending that I want.

So, I’m reading Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell, the third book in the Saxon Tales series, and Uhtred, my favorite character, is in trouble. I get nervous. But I don’t read ahead. In fact, when I come to the end of the dreadful chapter, I put the book down and don’t read for the rest of the night. I could have read ahead, and in most cases, I would have but something stopped me. I wanted to let this one play out and see what would happen. Instead of quelling the anticipation, I let it build. This might be a first for me people. That’s why I’m telling you all this.

I think it’s because I like this particular character so much. Uhtred is a Saxon, raised by Danes, in 880s Britain. He’s brutal, but loyal, shrewd but bullheaded, brilliant in battle, and an excellent battle strategist, but somedays he doesn’t stop to think. And that gets him in trouble, and in this particular case, it lands him in a boatload of trouble. I like that about him though. He’s an unpredictable character but a great narrator. He knows he’s flawed but he’s got one hell of a story to tell and all you want to do is listen.

Maybe that’s it then. Maybe my habit has not been broken. It’s not that I can’t read a book without looking ahead, I have, but I like the knowing. The knowing is a good thing for me. But I’m playing this one fast and free. Any bets on how long I can hold out before reading the end?


8 thoughts on “Has the read ahead curse been broken?

  1. snort. Yeah, right. Once a Last Page reader, always a Last Page reader.

    My husband HATES THIS. He sighs and rolls his eyes and froths at the mouth. I just roll my eyes right back. Honey, I just gotta know if they die. If she dies, I don’t want to read any more of this.

    • I think you’re right. I gave in and read the last page. That was like, what, 20 minutes after I posted that. Will power, I have none of thee. I needed to know if my favorite lived and now I feel better. 🙂

      I recently borrowed a book from a co-worker and he made me promise not to read the end. Instead, I decided I would walk into his office every morning and ask him who the killer was. On the second day of these shenanigans, I guessed it and he agreed never to ask this of me again. I win, by default, but a win for reading the last page.

        See, I don’t really consider it a sin, per say. but actually the opposite. If a reader doesn’t CARE enough to know, well… pppt!

        if I read the end, and the end makes NO SENSE AT ALL, then I know I’m in for a real treat. “Where is this going?!?” That or a real bomb. heh!

  2. Just to say, I did a month one time where I didn’t read the ending of any of the books I was reading, and I didn’t like it at all. Reading was exactly the same as when I did read the end, except slightly less fun. Also, there was a study recently that showed that people enjoy things more when they’ve read spoilers. So, SCIENCE.

  3. I don’t understand you end of the book readers. My daughter reads the end of books first too.
    It ruins the book for me to know the end first. I do love to read the end again when I’m done, if I really liked the book.
    Kate at katesbookreviews.com

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