Reading From Start to Finish

All readers are different, right? They like what they like and they dislike whatever they dislike. But sometimes those differences make me scratch my head, like when someone doesn’t read a book from start to finish.

I’ve seen and been told by other readers that they don’t read from start to finish. They’ll start a book and then for whatever reason just skip to the ending. Or they’ll read from the middle outward. Like, huh? I don’t understand the point of doing anything like this. If you don’t like the book you’re reading, then read something else. I don’t see how you can fully grasp a story if you’re reading it in a manner that (in my opinion) simply cannot carry the same entertainment value as it would if it were being read from start to finish.

Perhaps I’m crazy here and people do this kind of thing all the time, but that wouldn’t make it any more reasonable to me. Do you read from start to finish?


On this day in 2014 I published An Agent Represents my Second Book! Whaaaaaat!?.

PS: I asked y’all to pick my next read in yesterday’s post, so go vote if you haven’t done so already! I’ll take votes for one week.

 

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43 thoughts on “Reading From Start to Finish

  1. I don’t trust people who don’t read from start to finish. 0.รด But seriously, it’s like an insult to the author or something. I will never understand…

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  2. I read from start to finish. If I stop reading before the finish, I must be bored. I agree with you on this issue. Reading from the middle onward is a baffling concept to me. I’ve never thought of it. Maybe I should consider it. Okay. I considered it. Not for me. I could picture reading a portion of the middle to see what the writing style is like to decide whether to invest in the book.

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  3. I never even knew this was a ‘thing’. What kind of weird person reads a book from the middle outwards or skips the middle – what about the slow build, gradual character development, learning to care and invest in the protagonists? All lost.
    I did recently read about a book presented in a box with set start and end chapters, but the rest are loose and you can read them in any order – The Unfortunates by B.S Johnson. Though that’s different because the author designed the book that way.
    Nope, if you can’t read as intended, then don’t read at all.

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    • I didn’t know about this until I got on WordPress and all the craziness just hit me. Haha so we should ban everyone who does this from reading?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I wouldn’t like to ban anyone from reading. Just round them up, stick them in a room and give them some intensive therapy, make them read something unputdownable, with a cliff hanger at the end of every chapter. The Da Vinci Code will do for a start. Like it or loathe it, it’s got cliffs hanging all over ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Ha! But The Da Vinci is Dan Brown, right? I couldn’t force anyone to read him. Not if I’m to believe all the people who say his writing is just not very good, though I’ve never read any of his work myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I read the Da Vinci Code after all the fuss had died down, hearing it wasn’t great but still intrigued by the success. But, for all it’s a bit clunky, a bit daft, a bit cliched, the man really can write a cliffhanger and I’d never really criticise him – he definitely has some talent even if it’s making money and not being a literary genius!

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      • Sounds like E.L. James. Not the greatest writer ever, just sells millions of books.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I always read from start to finish. Anyone who does differently is a communist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a start to finish reader as well. (There are a few books that I don’t finish, but I don’t think that’s the point of your post). I’m fine with readers who want to read random chapters or start in the middle, but they better not post a review saying they book was confusing or the plot had holes or the character’s actions didn’t make sense!

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  6. I have to read from start to finish. I don’t see how it makes sense to avoid the middle of the story. One misses out on the experience of reading a particular book, like making connections with the character(s) or gaining perspective. It certainly begs the question: What’s the point of picking up a book to “read?”

    If people want to know how the story starts and ends, I suggest the Goodreads review section as people like to include spoilers in their posts. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  7. Those readers can’t possibly be lovers of reading and/or books. I know a lot of people who “want to read more” and they can never seem to finish a book. Of course, that doesn’t explain the “start at the middle” group… maybe they want to be able to say they read the book but didn’t want to have to read the whole thing, so they start in the middle and in half the time it would normally take, they “finished” the book. Odd. And sad.

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    • I have no idea what anyone thinks of anything. But what would you say about the ones who read a bit (maybe 25%) and then just read the ending before continuing the rest of the book?

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      • Well, I suppose in that case, they just want to make sure the ending is not terrible. When I was a teenage, I remember jumping to the end to make sure the ending wasn’t going to upset me… not wanting to invest in something that is going to bring me down. I outgrew that, but it could be a habit for some readers.

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      • Really? Wow.

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  8. Can I have these readers’ addresses? Then I can write first and last chapter, sell it as a book, and save us all some time.

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  9. Wow, that’s the strangest thing I’ve heard in a while! I could never imagine starting from the middle of a book or starting it and then skipping to the end. I ALWAYS read from start to finish – I’m very fussy about that kind of thing.

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  10. I can’t understand anyone who would read randomly like that. I hope no one does that with any of my books. It would be like starting a movie in the middle. I’m one of those people who cannot turn on the TV halfway through a movie and watch to the end. I would rather find out what the movie is (if it looks interesting) and watch it from start to finish another time. And yes, I am one of those people who gets intensely annoyed when latecomers come into a movie house ten minutes after the start, or chatter through the first ten minutes or play with their phone and then have to keep asking the person next to them what’s going on in the story. It makes me want to confiscate phones and bang heads together…!

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    • Hmmm. I see what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I agree with the comparison. Or maybe I do. Cause obviously I wouldn’t start a book at some random point in the middle. But I can’t say the same about movies. I’ll watch whatever is on TV.

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  11. Never ever heard about people reading this way! What’s the point?!
    I sometimes don’t finish books if I sincerely give zero craps about them. I dropped a book yesterday because I decided halfway through that life is way too short for reading bad books.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It baffles me that people would skip around in a book. You can’t skip around in life and pick only the favorable parts, so why do that with a book? It’s like you’re saying the writing and that part of the story just isn’t worth your time, and I consider that an insult to the writer.

    That being said, I have left a handful of books unfinished, but that’s mostly due to getting distracted by life and just not getting back to the book yet.

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    • Insulting? I disagree because you just said exactly what I was going to say. People don’t finish books all the time, how’s that any less “insulting” than reading in a weird way. I just think it’s dumb.

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  13. I try to read from start to finish, because even if I don’t like the book I feel disappointed with myself if I give up reading it. The 2015 reading challenge that I’m taking part in is a way for me to read the books that I own and figure out why I bought them in the first place.

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  14. I can’t imagine starting mid-stream, so to speak. But my mother always read magazines starting at the back and going to the front. I told her when I was a kid that I thought it was weird and she got mad at me. She said I could read however I wanted and not to say anything about how she reads. Novels she would read from start to finish.

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  15. I think I may have flipped to the last page a few times mostly because the book was getting so boring I wanted to move on, so I just peeked to see what happens. Which ends up being futile because the last page, honestly, reveals so little about the full ending. So it’s pretty much been a waste each time I’ve done it. But I can’t even remember the last time I did that.

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